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Islamists Acquitted of Spanish Courthouse Plot, Guilty of Lesser Charges

A court in Spain has acquitted 20 Islamic radicals of plotting to blow up a courthouse, but convicted them on lesser charges.

Officials say the National Court Wednesday found 18 of the suspects guilty of membership in a terrorist organization. It convicted two others of assisting terrorists. The court said 10 other suspects were acquitted of all charges. The court is expected to announce sentences later today.

The suspects were among 30 people arrested in 2004 and charged with crimes linked to the plot to blow up the high court. The arrests came several months after the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.

A three-judge panel concluded that prosecutors had failed to prove that the suspects had plotted a suicide bombing against the court. But the panel said the 20 suspects had created Islamic terror cells and tried to recruit people for them.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.