Man jailed for driving car with bomb into political party HQ

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Man jailed for driving car with bomb into political party HQ
Police blocked off the streets in 2014 after the man drove his car with an explosive device into the office of the Popular Party. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP.

An unemployed man who drove a car loaded with a home-made bomb into the Madrid headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) has been sentenced to five years in jail, a court said on Monday.


In December 2014, Daniel Perez Berlanga rammed a car with an explosive device made up of gas cylinders and fertilizer through the glass front of the building, reaching a staircase inside.

The device did not go off and no one was hurt in the incident, which triggered a major security alert as dozens of police cars shut off the central Madrid street where the party's headquarters are located.

Berlanga, 37, told police at the time that he was a ruined businessman who blamed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative PP government for his problems.

He later said his target was the entire political class in general.

A Madrid court found Berlanga guilty of making and possessing an explosive device and attempted arson and sentenced him to five years behind bars, in a ruling dated May 10th that was published on Monday.

"The accused wanted the device which was inside the car to explode and cause a fire at the headquarters, accepting that his action threatened the lives of the people who were inside," the court ruled.

The attack caused just over €41,000 ($45,500) in damages to the building, the court added.


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