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Germany

Spanish Prosecutor Reproaches Germany

Spain's top prosecutor on Tuesday called Germany's freeing of a German-Syrian businessman wanted in Spain for suspected ties to al Qaeda "a major step backwards" in anti-terrorism cooperation. The release "concerns us because we base the anti-terrorism fight on international cooperation," Candido Conde-Pumpido, Spain's attorney general, said on Spanish national radio. Mamoun Darkazanli, 46, was released from custody in Hamburg Monday after the German federal constitutional court ruled that handing him over to Spain on a new European Union arrest warrant would violate Germany's constitution. Europe is trying to create a zone of freedom and security and "inside this zone, mutual confidence between authorities and the transfer of those responsible for serious criminal acts according to European arrest warrants is very important," Conde Pumpido said. The prosecutor also said he was in favor of handing over the dossier on Darkazanli to the German authorities to follow up as the businessman may pose a danger to Germany. A Spanish judge, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has been asked to give Germany all the facts in Spain's case against Darkazanli, according to a source in the prosecutor's office. Spain accuses him of being Osama bin Laden's "permanent interlocutor and assistant" in Europe and having provided the al-Qaeda network with logistical and financial support between 1997 and 2002.Spanish Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said Monday he respected the German court's decision, but added: "We will find a way to resolve these legal difficulties."

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