• The attack.ETA places two bombs in hotels in Alicante and Benidorm

  • The defendant, identified Asier Eceiza as the second ETA member who participated in the Alicante attacks

  • The conviction: Troitiño's nephew is sentenced to 268 years for planting two bombs in hotels

The Supreme Court has annulled the judgment of the National Court that acquitted

Asier Ezeiza from


, accused of the double attack committed in the summer of 2003 against two hotels in




, which caused 14 injuries.

The Criminal Chamber orders the sentence to be returned to the Hearing so that it can issue a new one in which it pronounces "motivated" on various aspects that were considered proven.

After being convicted in France for the crime of participation in an organization of criminals -equivalent to belonging to a terrorist organization-, Ezeiza was handed over to Spain to be tried for the explosions of July 22, 2003.

The Prosecutor's Office charged him with two crimes of terrorist ravages, six crimes of attempted terrorist murder against members of the State Security forces and another eight crimes of attempted terrorist murder.

The Court acquitted him, considering that there was no conclusive evidence of his direct intervention in the proceedings closest to the attacks, but considered the defendant's integration into ETA to be proven.

He rented an apartment in Valencia

He also took as proven certain steps taken by the accused in the summer of that year on the Levantine coast at the request of the gang, such as the reservation of rooms in the hotels where the bombs were planted.

The court also found it proven that he rented an apartment in Valencia that he shared with a convicted person for the placement of the bombs and where explosive material was located.

The Supreme Court upholds the appeal filed by one of the victims of the attack and explains that in order to be criminally responsible for these crimes, it is not essential that they become "directly" involved in the handling, preparation, custody or activation of the explosives.

It specifies that this could be required to be considered an author in the strict sense, but not for the responsibility that the Penal Code attributes to other participants.

The sentence argues that "any prior activity that objectively facilitates criminal action, if it is carried out with the purpose of contributing to the desired result, is liable to deserve the criminal reproach that the code assigns to those who collaborate in any way -necessary or not- with criminal activity ".

The arguments of the High Court

The court recalls that only the perpetrator is responsible for a crime.

"Also those who cooperate in a conscious way with their action, although their specific conduct, ideally disconnected from the criminal action to which it can only be attached by the confluence of purposes, lacks in itself typical relief (booking rooms in a hotel; renting one living place)".

The Chamber explains that the judgment of the Hearing needs to clarify "if the defendant when carrying out those actions, which contemplated in themselves and extracted from their context, are neutral, knew, albeit in a generic way and without details, that they were not to get reservations to enjoy a few days in a hotel or exclusively to spend a few weeks in Valencia, but to facilitate the perpetration of attacks of the type actually produced ".

The court considers that there is no doubt and that from the proven fact it is unequivocally inferred that "objectively these previous actions are directly linked to the attacks and were a contribution to their success. No other explanation can be given to the coordination between the cancellation of the two reservations and its immediate renewal by a person related to whom (the respondent) had contracted the reservations (they shared accommodation) ".

The sentence concludes that the Hearing, "once it ruled out the defendant's involvement in the events immediately preceding the explosion, had to analyze whether there were still acts attributed to the defendant for the accusations" capable of leading to a conviction.

The defendant's knowledge of the facts

"Precisely because of this short-sighted perspective, it leaves an essential and essential question unanswered for deciding on the origin or not of an eventual conviction: whether the respondent was aware -or not- that the steps he carried out on behalf of the organization were up to date. service of a campaign that probably included actions constituting havoc and possible attacks on the life or physical integrity of persons and if his attitude towards this possibility was one of assumption, indifference, or, if it can be said that, if he knew it, he would have abstained to contribute to the commission of these attacks, as well as to what extent his possible indolence reached with respect to the possible consequences of his collaboration with plans designed by ETA ", say the magistrates.

The Chamber recalls the doctrine of

the European Court of Human Rights

by which it cannot review acquittals without hearing the accused and without having witnessed the evidence, and therefore agrees to annul the sentence and return the case to the National Court so that "Integrate the assessment made in the first sentence, indicating the conclusions (or lack of conclusions) reached in view of the evidence developed on the knowledge or ignorance on the part of the defendant of the purposes of their acts."

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Valencia

  • Supreme court

  • Alicante

  • National audience

  • ETA

  • European Court of Human Rights

  • Terrorism

  • Justice

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JusticeThe Prosecutor's Office asks the Supreme Court to order a repeat of the trial against Arnaldo Otegi for Bateragune after annulling his sentence

TerrorismBelgium hands over Spain to the 'Etarra de las mariscadas' after years of legal obstacles

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