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'Loner' claims he robbed banks 'to liberate Spanish people'
thinkSPAIN , Friday, August 10, 2007

At a press conference in Madrid yesterday, José Mariano Trillo-Figueroa, who is representing the bank robber known as 'The Loner', Jaime Jiménez Arbe, said that his client admits to being a "professional bank robber", but denies the three murders he is accused of.

Mr Trillo-Figueroa, who has been representing Arbe for a week and who has just returned from visiting his client in Monsanto jail outside Lisbon, insisted that Arbe "hasn't killed anyone" and if he was ever forced to use a weapon "it was in self-defence" and without intention to kill.

According to Arbe, the Local Police officer shot in Vall d'Uxo (Castellón) was killed accidentally by a fellow officer and that the two Guardia Civil officers shot in Castejón (Navarra) were killed by one of Arbe's former associates from the Marseille mafia, whose identity he is mortally afraid to reveal.

According to his lawyer, Arbe robbed banks "to liberate the Spanish people" from attacks on them by the banking sector. Mr Trillo-Figueroa also explained that Arbe was first jailed in 1972 when he was 16 for robbing a music store in Madrid. Arbe claims that the nine months he spent in jail as a result ruined his life, and led him to lead a "double life" about which the three women and the three children he shared his life were unaware.

Mr Trillo-Figueroa also revealed that his client is being subjected to all kinds of physical abuse at Monsanto, but does not want to be extradited to Spain "until we have cleaned up his image and reputation," adding that Arbe is in fear of his life.

Mr Trillo-Figueroa also said that Arbe, who claims to have been trained by the Marseilles mafia during the 1980s, compares himself with the 19th century Andalucian bandit, Curro Jiménez, whose true-life exploits were the basis for a successful Spanish TV series in the 1970s, and revealed that Arbe is growing his sideburns to look more like Sancho Gracia, the actor who played the Robin Hood type anti-hero.

The photo shows Mr Trillo-Figeuroa displaying an enlarged statement written by Arbe in his prison cell, detailing his criminal career from 1982 to the foiled attack on a bank in Figueres da Foz last month that led to his arrest.

'Loner' gives up hunger strike after two days
By: thinkSPAIN
Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jaime Jiménez Arbe, the dangerous bank robber known as'The Loner', who went on hunger strike last Thursday in protest at being transferred to the Monsanto high security jail on the outskirts of Lisbon, started eating again yesterday. According to a spokesman from the Portuguese Interior ministry, Arbe ate two meals yesterday afternoon then had second helpings of supper.

It seems that Arbe, who is being represented by a court-appointed lawyer, had a change of heart after reconsidering his attitude.

The prisoner refused food for two days and was placed under medical and psychological supervision.

He is being held in a single cell, but has access to reading material and has spoken on the telephone to his family.

'Loner' starts hunger strike after jail transfer
By: thinkSPAIN
Friday, July 27, 2007

According to a spokesman from the Portuguese Interior ministry, Jaime Jiménez Arbe, known as 'The Loner', announced yesterday that he was going on hunger strike in protest at being transferred from a medium security in Coimbra to Portugal's most secure jail, Monsanto, 200km away on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Arbe was transferred to the jail without incident on Wednesday night, whereupon he informed prison staff of his intention to refuse food. Monsanto jail is situated in an urbanised area on the outskirts of the capital close to Monsanto natural park and not far from the mayor of Lisbon's official residence. The jail has recently been refurbished and currently houses 186 prisoners, some of whom in a low security, open area.

Jiménez refused to cooperate at a preliminary court hearing in Figueira da Foz last Tuesday, at which he was remanded in custody without bail. Jiménez is being held in a high security area that is home to some of Portugal's most dangerous criminals.

In Portugal, Jiménez faces charges of planning an armed robbery, illegal arms possession and using false licence plates, which, if found guilty, would be punishable with a maximum sentence of 28 years.

Meanwhile, Spanish authorities are preparing the necessary documentation for Jiménez to be extradited to Spain, where he could be tried for all his crimes, including those committed on Portuguese soil.

Arbe is believed to have been responsible for a total of 36 bank robberies in Spain, the last of which was committed on the 18th May this year on a bank in Toro (Zamora) when a bank cashier was shot in the leg.

In total he is believed to have stolen more than €700,000 euros.

He is also wanted for the murder of two Guardia Civil officers in Castejón (Navarra) on the 9th June 2004, as well as a Local Police officer, who was shot dead after an attack in Vall D'Uxó (Castellón) on the 10th May 2000.

Portuguese police catch Spain's most-wanted
By: thinkSPAIN
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The man dubbed 'The Loner' was caught by Portuguese police as he was about to hold up a bank in Figueira da Foz. According to Interior minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, who is on an official visit to Portugal, Spain's most-wanted criminal was arrested after a joint operation involving Spanish and Portuguese police based on information provided by one of the suspect's neighbours, who recognised him from the TV.

The man, who has been identified as Jaime Giménez Arbe (51), was separated from his wife and lived on a residential estate in the town of Las Rozas (Madrid) with his two children (aged 6 and 15), posing as an air-conditioning installer.

At the time of his arrest, Arbe was wearing his usual disguise of grey suit, false beard, dark glasses, and was carrying a briefcase inside which police found a submachine gun, two handguns and a large quantity of ammunition. He was found to be wearing a bulletproof vest under his clothes and keys to a Renault Kangoo van with false number plates parked close to the branch of the Caja Agrícola savings bank he was planning to hold up.

Arbe is believed to have been responsible for a total of 36 bank robberies, the last of which was committed on the 18th May this year on a bank in Toro (Zamora) when a bank cashier was shot in the leg.

In total he is believed to have stolen more than €700,000 euros.

He is also wanted for the murder of two Guardia Civil officers in Castejón (Navarra) on the 9th June 2004, as well as a Local Police officer, who was shot dead after an attack in Vall D'Uxó (Castellón) on the 10th May 2000.

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