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28 de des. 2018

"This simply isn't fair" by Jofre Llombart (27/12/2018)

Jofre Llombart has made a scathing editorial comment on RAC1 Radio, "No hi ha dret", in which the lax treatment of confessed and condemned rapists (among them a policeman and a soldier) contrasts starkly with the Spanish courts' harsh violation of fundamental rights with regard to a dozen political and social leaders facing a show trial in January for having organised the self-determination referendum on October 1 2017. English translation by M.S. (I hope the author doesn't mind)
Click here if need be.

"No hi ha dret" was Jofre Llombart's editorial comment on 27 DEC 2018. His indignation was mirrored across Catalonia (and perhaps Spain). Original:  

It can be listened to here: https://api.audioteca.rac1.cat/embed/b0837369-5e28-449b-b013-7a4bf4e2b6c6


Here is an English rendering. I hope the author and the radio station don't mind.

This simply isn't fair

José Ángel, Alfonso, Jesús, Ángel and Antonio Manuel spent Christmas, Christmas and Boxing Day with their family. On July 7, 2016, José Angel, Alfonso, Jesús, Ángel and Antonio Manuel bundled a girl into a doorway and violated her. They penetrated her through the mouth, the vagina and the anus. They recorded the rape and they bagged about it. A court considered that this was not a rape, but a sexual abuse, arguing that the girl should have tried to knock all five over. However, the Navarre court sentenced them to nine years in prison. Their lawyers appealed against the sentence, so the sentence was not considered to be final. They raised it to the Navarre High Court and, for this reason, it was determined that José Angel, Alfonso, Jesús, Ángel and Antonio Manuel had the right to stay fee until the sentence was final.

The judge who decreed this parole was aware of the family situation of some of them, such as one who was expecting a child with his partner. What the judge ordered was that, while the Superior Court did not decide, none of them could leave the Spanish territory and had to hand over the passport. Well, a few weeks after that, one of them, Antonio Manuel, tried to make a duplicate passport. And the fact is Antonio Manuel is a civil guard. In spite of his having the rank of authority, the verdict does not consider that there had been an abuse of authority because it was considered that he was off duty. This was not the case with the Altsasu verdict, in which the condemned young people were found guilty of an attack on authority, for the court considered that one of the victims, an off-duty civil guard, is a civil guard right round the clock.

The fact is that, in spite of trying to take advantage of his civil guard status to get a new passport behind the counter, the judge extended his parole, considering there was no risk of his escaping. Antonio Manuel, moreover, is the one kept saved most of the photos and videos of the rape. He is also the one who robbed the raped girl's phone so she could not ask for help. Antonio Manuel will spend the New Year's Eve with whoever he chooses.

Since December 5, the 9 years' prison sentence has been confirmed, but it is not final because they have now appealed against it again and have taken the case to the Supreme Court. And for all this, yet another court has had to meet to decide whethe, in the meantime, they have to go into prison or not. This court will not issue its decision until after the holidays. For the time being, all five are on parole. Only one of them doesn't have a criminal record. The other four do.

We have already talked about Antonio Manuel. Now it's the turn of José Ángel, the alleged leader of the group. He is temporarily released despite being regarded as the one whose idea it wsas to rape her. He had already been sentenced to two years for a robbery with force. Angel, another of them who has spent the Christmas holidays with the family, also has a conviction for theft. In his case, in addition, he has a history of driving under the effects of alcohol and drugs. He took advantage of his parole, after his conviction, to steal some sunglasses. In spite of this, the judge did not consider that, in spite of the criminal recidivism, there was any need for him to enter prison either.

And who's left to talk about: Alfonso Jesús. He has a history of physical aggression, injury and now comes the most outrageous: he is a soldier and before the rape it had a record of public disorder and rioting. Rioting ("avalot")  is the translation into Catalan of a word that on September 20 came into the limelight in Catalonia. The famous "tumultos", which led to the charges of rebellion and sedition. Without these "tumultos" the charges would be even more flimsy. Well, one of the members of La Manada, a member of the Spanish army with a proven record for rioting and public disorder, sentenced to nine years in prison in a verdict issued twice for group rape, will also spend these holidays with his folks.

And, on the other hand, another group is in prison. Oriol, Carme, Jordi, Raül, Jordi, Quim, Dolors, Jordi and Josep have no criminal record for any offence, far less involving force. They have not raped anyone. They haven't been tried. They have not tried to get a duplicate of their passport. In the months they were on parole they did not commit any crimes again or attempt to flee. In the case of Quim the Prosecutor's Office even asked for his release, but Vox, a private prosecution, prevented him from leaving. Some of them were elected to Parliament, one of them, Jordi, even delivered a speech to become the elected of the Generalitat. Oriol, Jordi, Quim and Jordi will spend their second Christmas holiday in prison. Raül, Carme, Dolors, Jordi and Josep are suffering through their first one. There is an expression in Catalan that serves to complain generically of injustices. "No hi ha dret" (Literally, There is no right, or This is outrageous). In this case, it is literal.

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