For the first time, a former Spanish prime minister appears in court today to give evidence to a parliamentary enquiry set up by his own party. Jose Maria Aznar is testifying on the terrible events of March 11 in Madrid, when nearly 200 people were killed by terrorist bombs while arriving at city railway stations during the rush hour. Aznar opened his testimony with this declaration;
“My peace of mind is not built on my ability to conceal evidence or the resistance of guilty silences, it is built on the conviction that we told the truth about everything that we knew.
“Others have lied, lied furiously to poison public opinion and excuse very serious breaches of electoral law on the afternoon of March 13,” he said. What the inquiry wants to find out is why the government immediately leapt to blame the armed Basque organisation ETA for the atrocity and whether it manipulated information in the aftermath of the attack to keep ETA at the top of the list of suspects, despite proof to the contrary. The inquiry is being broadcast live on state television, although Aznar is not expected to bring any new information to the hearings.