The trial against the three defendants for the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks of 2017 begins

Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 10:28 AM

The trial for the attacks of August 17, 2017 in Barcelona and Cambrils (Tarragona), in which 16 people died and 140 were injured, begins this Tuesday before the National Court.

The three defendants face sentences of eight to 41 years in prison which the prosecution asks them for their alleged role in the terrorist cell.

On the seated bench Mohamed Houli Chemlal, survivor of the explosion at the Alcanar chalet (Tarragona); Driss Oukabir, on whose behalf the van used in the mass indignation on Las Ramblas was reportedly rented; and Said Ben Iazza, who allegedly loaned his documentation and his insulated van to buy and transport explosives precursors.

For the first two defendants, the public prosecutor claims 41 and 36 years in prison, respectively, for offenses of integration into a terrorist organization, of manufacture, possession and deposit of explosive substances; and plot for the crime of terrorist devastation. For the third, he claims eight years in prison for collaborating with the cell.

None of the three defendants have been prosecuted for the deaths and injuries, although the court left the door open for the parties to report on it in their briefs. They call for sentences ranging from revisable permanent prison for Oukabir and Houli Chemlal to eight years in prison for Ben Iazza.

During the session, several videos were shown, including one showing the perpetrators of the attack preparing the explosives.

For the moment, Houli has invoked his right not to testify at the request of the prosecutor, arguing that he once said “voluntarily showing his willingness to cooperate and his repentance”. However, he answered questions from his lawyer, assuring he was sorry. When asked if his regret was “genuine” he replied: “Obviously”.

Oukabir, for his part, claimed, at the request of his lawyer, that he was not a “religious or a practitioner” and denied his involvement in the terrorist cell, claiming that he had learned of the attacks from his partner. and that he had never been to Alcanar. He admitted to renting the van the attack was carried with, although he assured that they told him it was for a move.

Finally, Ben Lazza, who only replied to his lawyer, assured that he had lent his vehicle to two Moroccan boys whom he only knew as customers of his store and who had told him that they had some. need for cleaning work. He assures us that they never told him they were going to carry out attacks or spoke to him about religion.

Two mass attacks in 2017

The events occurred shortly before 5:00 p.m. on August 17, 2017, when Younes Abouyaaqoub entered Las Ramblas “at high speed” behind the wheel of a rental van, with which he zigzagged “overwhelming people walking there. “.

Among the documents found in the vehicle were Houli Chemlal’s passport and the rental agreement in Oukabir’s name. The next day, five members of the cell arrived on the Cambrils promenade “crushing pedestrians” and “attacking people who were in their path”. All were killed by the Mossos, also Abouyaaqoub, on August 21 in Penedés.

The headquarters of the National Court of San Fernando de Henares will host the twenty scheduled sessions of this trial, which is being held more than three years after the attack and which will likely last until December.

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