It's not for the pay that he's defending the alleged mastermind of the Madrid train blasts.
By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer
April 11, 2007
MADRID — It is Friday night, the end of another week defending the most hated man in Spain, and attorney Endika Zulueta is slumped behind his desk.
Friends visit. Music floats from a stereo. A bottle of honeyed rum from the Canary Islands slowly empties.
The decision to defend a man accused of mass murder did not come easily. It weighs on Zulueta, in his rare still moments, when he agonizes over whether he can mount a convincing defense in Europe's largest terrorism trial, and whether anyone will listen.
Two other attorneys appointed by the court to represent Egyptian national Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed quit. In a flood of reluctance and exhilaration, Zulueta agreed to take on the case, without pay, even though it may send him to the poorhouse and has earned him bad press and insults.
His client is accused of orchestrating the March 11, 2004, bombings of commuter trains in Madrid that killed nearly 200 people and wounded about 2,000 others, a tragedy that was to Spain what Sept. 11 is to the United States.