(Reuters) - A Spanish court on Wednesday found 21 people guilty of involvement in the 2004 Islamist bombings of Madrid trains which killed 191 people in Europe’s deadliest al Qaeda inspired attack.
The remaining seven were acquitted of any involvement including Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, known as “Mohamed the Egyptian” and already jailed in Italy after he was convicted of belonging to an international terrorist group.
Here is a chronology of events:
March 11, 2004 - Ten bombs kill 191 people and wound around 1,800 in simultaneous explosions in four packed rush hour trains on the Madrid railways.
March 12 - Then Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar links Basque separatists ETA to the attacks.
March 14 - A video tape purportedly from al Qaeda says the Islamic militant group bombed the trains in retaliation for Spain’s cooperation with U.S. President Bush and his allies.
— ETA issues a statement denying any role.
— Spaniards throw out Aznar’s centre-right government in a spectacular election upset. Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero becomes prime minister in April.
April 2 - A bomb is found on a high-speed rail track connecting Madrid and Seville.
April 3 - Serhane ben Abdelmajid Farkhet, known as The Tunisian and the suspected ringleader, blows himself up with up to six accomplices after police corner them in an apartment.
November 29 - Aznar testifies to a parliamentary commission defending his decision to initially blame ETA.
March 11, 2005 - Islamic Commission of Spain issues a religious order declaring Osama bin Laden to have forsaken Islam by backing attacks such as those in Madrid.
June 22 - Parliamentary commission finds the previous government “manipulated and twisted” the bombings to try to win elections.
April 11, 2006 - Prosecuting magistrate Juan Del Olmo orders 29 people, mostly Spanish or Moroccan to stand trial. His report concludes the bombers were inspired, not directed by, al Qaeda.
February 15, 2007 - Lead judge Javier Gomez Bermudez opens the trial. One of the accused is acquitted.
October 31 - The court finds 21 people guilty of involvement in the 2004 bombings. Seven of the 28 accused are acquitted of any involvement.
— Moroccan Jamal Zougam was sentenced to a total of more than 40,000 years in prison, although under Spanish law he can only serve a maximum of 40 years. Spaniard Emilio Suarez Trashorras, found guilty of supplying explosives, also received a sentence of thousands of years in jail. All those found guilty are expected to appeal.
— Court rules out the participation of Basque guerrillas ETA in the bombings.