Letter bomb suspect sought to finish Spain’s help for Ukraine, choose says – EURACTIV.com


A 74-year-old Spanish man arrested over a spate of letter bombs despatched to establishments together with the prime minister’s workplace and the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid in late 2022 was attempting to stress Spain to drop its help for Ukraine, an investigating Justice of the Peace stated on Friday (27 January).

Pompeyo Gonzalez Pascual is beneath formal investigation over two potential aggravated terrorism fees and 4 terrorism fees, the Justice of the Peace stated throughout his first court docket listening to, based on the court docket paperwork launched on Friday. He was ordered to be detained pending any formal fees and additional hearings.

The suspect used Russian messaging apps resembling VK and the Swiss end-to-end encrypted electronic mail service Protonmail, which may point out a threat of him fleeing to Russia, the Justice of the Peace added.

His on-line historical past included Russian state media RT and Sputnik in addition to Spanish-language web sites about weapons and chemistry.

Nonetheless, the proof suggests Gonzalez acted alone, the choose wrote. He stated the suspect’s alleged actions confirmed his intent to change the general public peace and to provide the impression they had been carried out by folks with ties with Russia as retribution for Spain’s and the USA’ help for Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the nation.

“There isn’t any indication that the particular person beneath investigation belongs to or collaborates with any terrorist gang or organised group,” the assertion stated.

In keeping with the choose, among the many objects discovered within the police search of Gonzalez’s house had been varied cylindrical rods which will correspond to the identical sort of cylinders that housed the incendiary pistons within the selfmade explosive gadgets. There have been additionally screws and is derived just like their “firing pins” and precision drills just like these used to make them.

To make the gadgets, Gonzalez used Amazon to purchase a number of the supplies, together with potassium nitrate, a cable with a wick, switches, copper filaments, and incandescent bulbs, the paperwork from the closed listening to confirmed.

Gonzalez was arrested in a police operation dubbed Konvert – which suggests envelope in Russian – in Miranda de Ebro in central Spain on 25 January.

He’s accused of sending at complete of six parcels with explosives between 24 November and a pair of December to numerous Spanish and diplomatic establishments within the nation. Along with the Ukrainian Embassy and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s workplace, they had been addressed to the US Embassy, the Defence Ministry, an air pressure base and a weapons producer.

Most had been defused, though an worker on the Ukrainian embassy was barely injured when one ignited. Investigators have concluded that no less than three of the parcels had been despatched from Burgos, close to Gonzalez’s house, police stated in a press release on Friday.

The choose stated police had been in a position to observe down Gonzalez by tracing again the stamps on the envelopes, a few of which may solely have been purchased in a small variety of outlets in Burgos.

Gonzalez used to work for the city corridor of the Basque capital Vitoria-Gasteiz earlier than retiring in 2013, a metropolis spokesperson stated.

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