MILAN, Italy – An Italian court Friday approved Spain's request to extradite an alleged mastermind of the Madrid train bombings (search), Italian news reports said, but an immediate transfer of the Egyptian suspect appeared unlikely.
"We'll probably appeal" the decision on Rabei Osman Ahmed (search), said Vivian Bossi, his lawyer. She said she had heard of the decision only on the television news and hadn't yet been informed by the Milan court hearing the case.
Osman Ahmed was arrested June 7 on an international warrant issued by Spanish authorities and is being held in a Milan (search) jail. Milan prosecutors have also approved the extradition request.
Bossi said she opposed the request because Osman Ahmed was already under investigation in Italy, and that another Italian court had yet to rule on whether police wiretaps of her client could be used as evidence.
In phone taps recorded before his arrest, Osman Ahmed reportedly said, "The Madrid attack is my project" and the March 11 attacks would teach a "lesson to Europe."
After any appeal, the Italian Justice Ministry must give final approval to extradition rulings.
The March 11 bombs, planted on four commuter trains in Madrid, killed 191 people and injured more than 1,600.