The first suspect to be tried in connection with the Madrid train bombings has been jailed for six years. The 16-year old boy pleaded guilty to smuggling dynamite used in the attacks. Heads have also started rolling elsewhere: a lieutenant-colonel has been fired after he withheld a tape recording involving two Spaniards allegedly linked to the March 11th attacks.
It contained a conversation between the police and an informer in which they talk about making explosives similar to those used in the bombings. Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said the officer was dismissed because of a “breach of confidence” between himself and the judicial authorities. Spanish authorities have brought charges against 17 people, including a former miner who allegedly stole dynamite from a shaft where he worked. It was used to make explosives which were packed into backpacks and left onboard four crowded trains during rush-hour early on 11th March. A total of 191 died in the attacks which dramatically affected Spain’s political landscape. Just days later, the Socialists swept to power in a general election which reflected the people’s anger at Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar’s handling of the crisis.