BARCELONA – The three men, who were arrested in 2017 after terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, have been sentenced to 53, 46 and 8 years in prison. In the attack in 2017, in addition to more than a hundred injuries, sixteen people were killed.
The conviction of the terrorists was announced on Thursday by the Audiencia Nacional in Spain, Spanish news site La Sexta wrote. The heaviest prison sentence is 53.5 years and applies to Mohamed Houli Chemlal. Driss Oukabir was sentenced to 46 years in prison.
Conviction for active participation in terrorist organisation
Both men have been convicted of membership in a terrorist organisation, possession, storage and making explosives of a terrorist nature and attempting and carrying out terrorist attacks in combination with as many as 29 other crimes of a similar nature.
The third defendant, Said Ben Iazza, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for cooperating with a terrorist organisation. Iazza was also charged with participating in and committing a terrorist organisation, but these charges have not been proven in Spain, according to the judge.
Penalties much higher than required
While all three men have been convicted of many crimes, they have also been acquitted of dozens of offences. These range from attempted murder to intentional injury of a terrorist nature. The sentences for Houli and Oukabir exceed the 41 and 36 years that had been demanded against them.
What exactly happened in Barcelona and Cambrils in 2017?
Two attacks took place in Cataloniaon 17 and 18 August 2017. 16 people were killed and more than 120 injured, some of them life-threatening. The victims included people of 35 nationalities.
At around 4.50 pm on 17 August, a white van knocked down pedestrians on Las Ramblas in Barcelona. From Plaça de Catalunya, the van zigzagged about 600 meters across the pedestrian area of Las Ramblas. It was the deadliest attack in Spain since the Madrid attacks of March 11, 2004.
About 6 hours later (around 1.30 am) an attack in Cambrils was largely thwarted when five terrorists were shot with false bomb belts. Just like in Barcelona, they drove into the audience. They were eliminated before they could cause multiple victims. One civilian victim died, and the terrorists were also killed. The Islamic State soon claimed the attack.