Spain to start out trial of suspects linked to lethal 2017 van assault

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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Excessive Courtroom will on Tuesday open the trial of three suspected Islamist militants linked to a 2017 assault in Barcelona which killed 14 individuals – Spain’s deadliest in over a decade.

A single attacker drove a rented van into crowds on Barcelona’s central La Rambla boulevard, inflicting 14 deaths and injuring over 100 individuals. One other man was killed throughout the attacker’s getaway.

On the eve of the assault, an unintentional explosion destroyed a home in Alcanar, southwest of Barcelona, the place explosives and fuel canisters had been saved. The blast killed the group’s suspected chief, an imam.

Two of the accused, a Spaniard and a Moroccan, face expenses of belonging to a terrorist organisation, manufacturing and storing explosives, and making an attempt to trigger widespread destruction, that are all associated to the Alcanar blast however not on to the Barcelona assault, in response to court docket paperwork.

Prosecutors are looking for jail phrases of 41 and 36 years for the 2 and eight years for one more Moroccan nationwide who’s accused of being an confederate. They’ve been in jail pending trial since their arrests in 2017 in reference to the blast.

Eulogio Paz, head of one of many victims’ associations performing as a civil get together within the trial, mentioned on Friday his group was “going to struggle for a homicide cost and sentence for the accused … no matter whether or not they had been nearer or additional away from the van” utilized in Barcelona.

They demand perpetual sentences for the 2 foremost suspects.

The day after the assault on Aug. 17, 5 militants drove a automotive right into a crowd within the coastal resort of Cambrils and used knives to assault bystanders, killing a lady and injuring a number of others, earlier than being shot useless by police. Officers additionally killed the Barcelona attacker a couple of days later.

The trial, which is predicted to run by Dec. 16, comes as varied European nations step up safety following latest Islamist assaults in France and Austria.

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