“I’m very sorry about what happened.” This is how Mohamed Houli, the main defendant for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, expressed himself in his turn to last word this Wednesday. The trial for the attacks of August 17, 2017 has been seen for sentence after 32 sessions. All three defendants have been repentant.
The first to intervene was Houli, wounded in the explosion of the Alcanar chalet where the cell manufactured explosives. “I regret having been in that house, I regret having been with those people and I am very sorry for what happened,” said Houli, who has consulted notes written on paper throughout his speech. Houli, whom the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for 41 years in prison, has said that he ignores the terrorist plans of his colleagues and that he only collaborated “forcedly” with the cell out of fear for his integrity and that of his family. The accused has defended that he has collaborated with the investigation, something considered “apostasy by the people with this ideology, which has nothing to do with true Islam, which is peace and respect.”
However the evidence is mounting against Houli. In addition to frequenting Alcanar’s chalet that was the cell’s headquarters, Houli videotaped the other terrorists as they manufactured explosives. The accidental outbreak of the chemical substances blew the villa to pieces and precipitated the outrage on La Rambla and Cambrils. The investigation has shown that the initial plans of the cell foresaw a great massacre at the Sagrada Familia or the Camp Nou.
In addition to trying to dissociate himself from the cell, Houli has put a cable to the second defendant, Driss Oukabir, whom the Prosecutor’s Office claims 36 years in prison. According to Houli, Oukabir was never in Alcanar’s house. Houli thus endorses the line of defense that Oukabir has maintained throughout the trial, consisting of presenting himself as a habitual consumer of marijuana and alcohol, away from any religious rigor and unrelated to the members of the cell, who were all – including his brother. younger than him. Oukabir rented the Rambla van, according to the Prosecutor’s Office because it was part of the cell; according to him, because his brother asked for a move.
In his turn to last word, Oukabir has assured that he had no interest in what happened and that he would have tried to prevent the attacks if he had known about them. Before the attacks, Oukabir traveled to Morocco. The reason for the trip for the Prosecutor’s Office is that at the last moment he was afraid, while Oukabir defends that it was to get away from his partner, whom he mistreated.
For his part, Ben Iazza, who the Prosecutor’s Office only accuses of collaborating with terrorists and asking for 8 years in prison, has refused to use his right to the last word beyond saying that he would let “the evidence speak for itself.” The defendant has referred to the intervention of his lawyer, who has justified that he lent his uncle’s butcher’s van to the terrorists to transport hydrogen peroxide, because Muslims, like “Spaniards abroad, help each other “. The lawyer has separated Ben Iazza from the cell and has denied that he knew of the plans to attack.
The Prosecutor’s Office of the National High Court asks for imprisonment for all the accused, although it does not charge them with the crime of murder, understanding that, although they contributed to the objectives of the jihadist cell, none of the accused had a direct participation in the attacks. Thus, the Public Ministry disagrees with many of the particular accusations and, in particular, with the popular accusations – leveled by the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) and the Association 11-M -, which request for Houli Chemlal and Oukabir the sentence of reviewable permanent prison.
Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.
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