A MOROCCAN bricklayer wrongly convicted for rape more than 30 years ago may finally be about to see justice in Spain, after the Supreme Court agreed to revise his case. Ahmed Tommouhi was incorrectly identified as the author of a series of sexual assaults that took place in 1991, and since then has suffered a series of legal setbacks.
Journalist Braulio Garcia Jaen has been following the case both in Spanish daily El Pais and in a book that he wrote about it. He explains that the facts date back to the autumn of 1991, when a wave of rapes were committed in Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona province.
A number of the victims identified Tommouhi in police line-ups, but the parades were later found to have a series of irregularities on the part of the officers involved. He was convicted for two of the sexual assaults but the true culprit – who looked very similar – was arrested four years later.
DNA analysis from one of the attacks proved that Tommouhi had not been the culprit and he was absolved. But the law precluded the same evidence from being taken into consideration for the other two cases, and he stayed in jail until 2006, when he had served them in full.
Those two sentences are still in force, but on Wednesday the Supreme Court will analyse whether Tommouhi was innocent and whether he can move closer to finally clearing his name.
The new evidence that the court will take into account is another semen analysis collected during one of the cases, the existence of which was revealed in the book written by Garcia Jaen about the case (the title is Poetic Justice).
What’s more, one of the victims of the rapes, known only as Nuria, has since admitted that she made a mistake back in 1991 by mistakenly identifying Tommouhi, due to his similarity to the true rapist.
Tommouhi was 40 years old when he arrived in Spain, but was arrested just six months later for these crimes that he did not commit and spent 15 years in jail. According to El Pais, he never wanted to return to his home country until his name was cleared in Spain. With this latest development, he may be taking one step closer to that.
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