Morocco jails Madrid plotter for Casablanca bomb

Lawyer dubbed verdict unfair after acquittal from lower court


A Moroccan man linked to the 2004 Madrid bomb attacks was jailed for 10 years by an appeals court on Monday for his role in the 2003 Casablanca suicide bomb attacks that killed 45 people, the state news agency MAP reported.

The court found Hassan el Haski guilty of "setting up a criminal gang to carry out terrorist attacks with the aim of undermining public order through terror and violence," according to MAP.

His sentencing on appeal Monday comes less than four weeks after he was acquitted by Morocco's anti-terrorist tribunal and was met with an angry response from his lawyer.

"It's an unfair verdict, the appeals process was summary," said Khalil El Idrissi.

Al Haski is not the first person to be probed in connection with both Madrid and Casablanca bombings.

Another Moroccan suspect in the 2004 Madrid bombings, Saad Housseini, was given a 15-year jail sentence last week by a Rabat court for his role in the Casablanca attacks

Haski, 41, was extradited to Morocco from Spain, where he was already serving a 13-year-jail term for leading an armed group involved in the Madrid train bombings which killed 191 people.

Moroccan lawyers said Haski would serve the sentence imposed in Morocco and then be extradited to Spain to complete his 13-year-sentence there.

Housseini, a chemistry graduate, was suspected of having made the Madrid bombs.

Originally from the Moroccan city of Meknes, he visited Afghanistan in 2002. He was questioned by police upon his return that same year and released without charge.

The May 2003 suicide bombings in Casablanca were the deadliest ever in Morocco. Forty-five people died including 12 suicide bombers. Dozens more were injured.

It's an unfair verdict, the appeals process was summary

Khalil El Idrissi