The curious case of a Moroccan national sentenced to 42,917 years in prison

Jamal Zougam, one of the terrorists arrested after the 2004 Madrid train bombings, is still trying to appeal against a court ruling. His name has recently been part of a list terrorist cell, operating in Spain's prisons.

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Moroccan national Jamal Zougam./Ph. DR

Sentenced to 42,917 years in prison for being involved in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, Jamal Zougam was abandoned by his lawyer. Indeed, lawyer Ivan Jimenez Aybar who succeeded in bringing his case before the European Court of Human Rights, has stopped returning the detainee’s calls, revealed El Espanol on Thursday.

Before his arrest, Jamal Zougam used to run a mobile phone shop in the Lavapies neighborhood, where he participated in plotting the Madrid bombing which killed 192 people. Investigators found out that Zougam sold phones that were used to «detonate the bombs in the attack», reports Spanish media.

Although eyewitnesses confirmed Zougam’s involvement in the attacks, he denied all accusations and claimed that he was at his place when the tragedy took place.

In 2016, the detainee’s family decided to bring his case before the European Court of Human Rights. They hired lawyer Ivan Jimenez Aybar to defend Zougam in Strasbourg.

Searching for the lawyer

The Spanish lawyer who was known for taking care of similar cases, asked Zougam’s family for 3,630 euros. And before starting the procedures of the appeal, the family was able to meet Aybar at the Moroccan embassy in Madrid, but «that was the last time that they heard from him», they told the same source.

Since 2016, the family has not received any tangible evidence proving that the lawyer has fulfilled his mission. A year later, the lawyer responded to one of their emails, apologizing about his delay.

In his email, he stressed that the appeal was filed before the court in Strasbourg, but in a second one he said that he hasn’t kept a copy of documents proving that.

Committed to defend Jamal, the family decided to seek the help of the Zaragoza bar, which promised to file a complaint against the lawyer.

A few days ago, the name of Jamal Zougam made headlines again. He was one of the members of a terrorist cell that operates in Spain's prisons. Its alleged leader is a Moroccan national called Abderrahmane Tahiri, known as «Mohamed Acharf», and sentenced to 14 years in prison for his involvement in the Madrid bombing.

Jamal Zougam and Hassan Haski, two other Moroccan nationals jailed for the same reasons, are also members of the cell, which is planning to bomb the Spanish embassy in Morocco.

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