Judge Releases One Spanish Terror Suspect, Remands Two

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MADRID, Aug 23 – A Spanish judge Tuesday released one suspect in the terror attacks that claimed 15 lives and wounded more than 100 people last week, saying evidence against him was weak, but remanded two others. National Court Judge Fernando Abreu ordered that Mohamed Houli Chemlal, a 21-year-old Spaniard, and Driss Oukabir, a 27-year-old Moroccan, be held while the investigation continued after questioning them for several hours.

Chemlal is suspected of preparing explosive devices at a house south of Barcelona while Oukabir is suspected of renting a white van that ploughed into crowds in Barcelona on Thursday, killing 13 people. But the judge ordered the conditional release of Mohamed Aalla, the owner of the Audi that was used in a second vehicle attack in the seaside town of Cambrils in the early hours of Friday that killed one person.

The judge wrote in his ruling that there was not at this point “evidence to establish his participation in the events, aside from being the formal owner” of the vehicle which was in fact being used by his younger brother. Aalla will have to report regularly to police and is prohibited from leaving Spain. He is still under formal investigation but has not been formally charged unlike Chemlal and Oukabir who have been charged with terror related offences.

The judge will investigate further the fourth suspect arrested over the attacks, Salh El Karib, before deciding if he will be released or remanded in custody, the source added. The judge will decide the fate of this suspect within three days. The four were the only surviving suspects from the terror cell that carried out the attacks. — AFP

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