Driss Oukabir, who is of Moroccan origin, is currently being held in custody at Madrid’s Soto del Real prison since he was arrested on the night of the dual attack in Barcelona and in Cambrils (Tarragona) – during which most of the terrorists were shot dead by police – and will remain there until his eventual trial and sentence for his role in the massacre and his belonging to the now-disbanded ISIS cell based in Ripoll (Girona province).
Oukabir has testified via video conference from prison, accused of grabbing his girlfriend by the hair and dragging her down the stairs of the block of flats they lived at on the C/ Pla de Ginebret in Ripoll.
Two female neighbours acted as witnesses, although the victim denied the aggression.
Oukabir said in his statement that on the night in question: “I went out partying. I got home late. She had a go at me. Just an ordinary row,” but he insists he is not guilty of physically assaulting her.
The woman, who had been living with Oukabir in Ripoll for four years, did not report the incident and initially refused to testify, but eventually agreed to when Oukabir asked her to.
She said they had had ‘a verbal fight’, but had not been dragged by the hair or pushed on the stairs – a statement which contradicts that of two women living nearby who say they have seen incidents of violence before and were able to recount these, and the row in question, in detail.
Also, two Catalunya regional police officers, from the Mossos d’Esquadra, went to the flat on the night in question, nearly a month before the terror attacks, and said they found the woman ‘in a state’ and ‘crying’, saying she wanted them to remove Oukabir from the house.
Oukabir has been found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison, as well as an injunction being awarded to prevent him from carrying firearms or going within half a kilometre of the victim for 18 months after his release.
Driss Oukabir has already been sentenced to prison twice – once for drink-driving in 2009 and a second time for actual bodily harm in 2011 – but in both cases, fines and community service replaced the custodial terms and he did not have to serve them.
He has also been arrested on two other occasions – once in 2010 for aggravated robbery and another time in 2012 for an alleged rape which was thrown out due to lack of evidence.
Oukabir spent a month in custody in Figueres (Girona province) for the latter, but was never found guilty.