The Supreme Court annuls the sentence of a man who spent 15 years in prison for being confused with a rapist

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The Supreme Court has annulled the judgment of the Barcelona Provincial Court of 1992, which sentenced Ahmed Tommouhi for two crimes of rape and two offenses of injury to a total of 24 years in prison. The man spent 15 years in prison for that conviction.

The Criminal Chamber of the high court upholds the extraordinary appeal for review against the final sentence presented by the man so far convicted, which was based on new evidence. In particular, in some expert reports on the semen found in an intimate garment of the assaulted woman that indicate that it does not correspond to the genetic trace of the appellant.

As stated by the defendant in his appeal, the biological reports were made in 1992 by the Scientific Police of Barcelona, but they never came to the knowledge of the court, despite the fact that the evidence had been admitted for examination at trial. The experts did not appear at the oral hearing and the court – presided over by the current minister Margarita Robles – did not suspend the oral hearing so that they could be summoned again.

The conviction was based on a misidentification of one of the two victims, which pointed to Tommouhi as one of the two men who had assaulted them. In 1995, the arrest of the real perpetrator of the acts for other violations alerted the Civil Guard due to his great physical resemblance to the Moroccan. Other data had already raised suspicions. With Tommouhi already in prison, sexual assaults with the same mode of operation they had been repeated in Catalonia and some victims identified the Moroccan as the aggressor.

The review of the investigation concluded with Tommouhi’s parole in 2006. For his part, the real culprit, Antonio García Carbonell, ended up accumulating 226 years of sentences. The real rapist was released in 2013 thanks to the annulment of the Parot doctrine by the Strasbourg court. He was the first non-terrorist prisoner to benefit from that European court decision on how to calculate sentence redemptions.

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