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Spain releases man charged with terrorism for sending letter bombs

A Spanish magistrate on Friday ordered the conditional release of a man charged with terrorism for sending six letters containing explosives to high-profile diplomatic and government targets.

The National Court magistrate said Pompeyo González Pascual, 74, must appear in court each week, relinquish his passport and remain in Spain as conditions for getting and remaining out of jail.

In deciding to release him, the court considered that González Pascual had no previous criminal record and found there was no indication he might commit more offenses. A date for his trial has not been set.

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González Pascual, a resident of the town of Miranda de Ebro in north-central Spain, was arrested in January for allegedly sending letter bombs to Spain’s prime minister and to the U.S. and Ukrainian embassies in Madrid late last year.

An employee at the Ukrainian Embassy was slightly injured while handling one of the letters.

Police said they found a bomb-making workshop at González Pascual’s home. The Interior Ministry said at the time that indicated meticulous planning had gone into making the letter bombs.

Police officers surround the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, Spain, on Nov. 30, 2022, following reports of a blast at the embassy. A 74-year-old man was charged with terrorism for sending explosive letters to high-profile diplomatic figures.

Police officers surround the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, Spain, on Nov. 30, 2022, following reports of a blast at the embassy. A 74-year-old man was charged with terrorism for sending explosive letters to high-profile diplomatic figures. (AP Photo/Paul White, File)

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He was charged with the manufacture and use of explosive devices for terrorist purposes, according to court documents. Two of the alleged offenses were classified as aggravated since they involved targeting members of the government.

The six letter bombs were sent in November and December and required the intervention of bomb-disposal experts. One was destroyed after being dispatched by regular mail to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

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Letters with similar characteristics were sent to Spain’s Defense Ministry, a European Union satellite center located at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base outside Madrid and an arms factory in northeastern Spain that makes grenades sent to Ukraine.

An envelope intercepted at the U.S. Embassy’s security screening point in December was destroyed by a bomb squad after a wide area in the center of Spain’s capital was cordoned off.

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