By Daniel Trotta
A Spanish judge ejected the prime suspect in the Madrid bombings case at the Moroccan man's first court appearance yesterday, ordering police to “take him away” for his complaints about prison conditions. Jamal Zougam, a 32year-old Moroccan, is the face many Spaniards associate with the train bombings because he was among the first to be arrested just two days after the attacks of March 11, 2004, that killed 191 people. Media profiles of him flooded the airways upon his arrest, when Spain was still in shock from the attacks by Islamist militants that also wounded 1'900. Zougam has maintained his innocence, saying he was home sleeping when 10 bombs exploded aboard four commuter trains that morning, three days before a general election. Investigators say witnesses recognise Zougam as having been on one of the trains - evidence that has kept him in jail. Zougam, unshaven and wearing a colourful shirt with a sweater draped over his shoulders, (pictured above) appeared only as a witness in the unrelated trial of 24 men accused of belonging to al Qaeda. Zougam had been under investigation though never arrested in the current case, in which the Spanish cell is accused of recruiting holy warriors for Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. At the end of his 13 minutes on the witness stand, Zougam complained “they are treating me very poorly in jail.” Judge Javier Gomez Bermudez told Zougam to file a complaint. When Zougam kept pleading his case, the judge cut him off and told police to “take him away.” He was handcuffed and led back to jail. Thus ended one of the most anticipated moments of the trial. “I just wanted to look him in the eye and see if I could figure out why someone would do something like this,” said Pilar Manjon, who watched from the gallery. She lost her son on one of the trains and now leads a victims' association.

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