World | Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:24pm GMT

Madrid train bomb suspect loses terror appeal

ROME (Reuters) - An Egyptian on trial in Spain on charges of helping plan the 2004 Madrid train bombings lost an appeal in Italy on Monday against a separate terrorism conviction, his lawyer said.

Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed was arrested in Milan after Italian police recorded telephone conversations in which authorities believe he took credit for plotting the March 11, 2004 train bombings which killed 191 people.

Before being extradited to Spain last year, Ahmed was convicted in Milan of belonging to an international terrorist network. An appeals court upheld that conviction on Monday, but lowered his jail sentence to 8 years from 10 years.

Ahmed's lawyer, Luca D'Auria, said his client would appeal to Italy's highest court. Ahmed denies involvement in the Madrid bombings as well as any other terrorist activity.

The Italian ruling came just two days before a court in Madrid is expected to deliver verdicts against Ahmed and 27 other men in connection with the bombings, the deadliest attack linked to al Qaeda in Europe.

X