Ahmed Brahim.

The Majorcan lawyer defending Ahmed Brahim, who was arrested in Barcelona last weekend and is being detained indefinitely on terrorism charges, said yesterday that his client knew he was under investigation and if he had something to hide, would have skipped the country months ago. Brahim has lived in Spain for the past 15 years, most of that time in Palma where he ran a yachting dealership. The security services believe this company was a front for money used to finance Al Qaeda. Brahim has admitted that Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who is currently facing terrorism conspiracy charges in the United States and accused by federal prosecutors of being a former top aide to bin Laden and an Al Qaeda financial officer, stayed with him in Majorca, but denied any close relationship with him. Brahim's daughter Nora, said on Wednesday she did not remember Salim. Yesterday, Miguel Ill Ferrer categorically ruled out any connection between his client, Brahim, and the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Ferrer said that his client has “denied any relationship with the organisation.” “All he admits to is that Salim stayed with him twice, but for reasons that have nothing to do with Al Qaeda . “He does not deny that he stayed with him at his Palma flat and he has his reasons for having put him up, but he is not fully aware of what his guest used to do. “With regards to the terrorist attacks on the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, he has only been asked about Salim and who he allows into his house or not, is his own business.” According to the lawyer “Ahmed Brahim had a business in Palma, it went into liquidation in 1999. “He sold boats, one to his accountant. But one thing is for sure, he did not have a communications centre set up in his Palma apartment. “He had computers just like any other person and was in contact with other people via e-mail, just like thousands of other citizens all over the world,” the lawyer said. According to Miguel Ill Ferrer “if any unaccounted payments are found in any of his bank accounts, in his words, he will let them cut his head off.” “Through hard work he managed to amass a personal fortune. He is a public works engineer and worked hard at his nautical business, all this is known by the authorities, until he decided to liquidate the business.” The lawyer said that he is trying to establish whether or not the High Court opened a case which involved the tapping of his telephone. Ill explained that telephones can not be tapped without a judicial order. “He knew four months ago that funds he had in a Luxembourg account had been frozen. The prosecutor in Luxembourg said that they had acted on order from the High Court in Spain. The Luxembourg authorities allowed him to withdraw a determined amount of money each month so that he and his family could lead a decent life. “I must point out that my client travelled frequently and when he learnt of his funds in Luxembourg being frozen, if he really did have anything to do with what he is being accused of, logically he would have fled Spain. But knowing that his account had been frozen, he continued to live in Spain.” “My client has instructed me to speak to the press, he's surprised by the media campaign which has been mounted based on information which has only been provided by a single source, the Ministry for Interior (Home Office). “He's in no position to respond, on Wednesday he was being held incommunicado which means he can not contact his family or anybody else for that matter and also prevents him from being helped by a lawyer of his choice,” Miguel Ill said in Palma yesterday.


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