What is crime and what is not?


Publication: Thursday April 29, 2021 20:12

Over the past three years, state security forces and organs have not detected threatening letters, accompanied by live ammunition, addressed to members of the Government or to presidents of autonomous communities. Last week they located six: two directed at United We Can (UP) candidate in the Community of Madrid, Pablo Iglesias, and one, respectively, for regional president and People’s Party (PP) candidate, Isabel. Díaz Ayuso; the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; the director general of the Civil Guard, María Gámez; and former government president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. To these packages, we must add the one that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, received with an apparently bloody knife.

In all cases, the persons concerned lodged complaints for alleged crimes of threats which led, almost automatically, to the opening of an investigative procedure in the courts of Madrid and Barcelona, ​​where the events took place. products. The national police and the civil guard are investigating the possible origin of these shipments based on the analysis of fingerprints and DNA that could appear on the packages and the location of the letterboxes in which they were sent. been dropped off with tracking security cameras nearby.

The prosecution is also studying a complaint from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to decide to open an investigation for crimes of threats or incitement to hatred against an online store that sold t-shirts in which Pablo Iglesias appeared on a target accompanied by slogans such like “shooting season.” marquis ”,“ wanted dead or alive ”or“ the good communist is the dead / imprisoned communist ”. The tax sources explain to LaSexta what the procedure consists of: “The aim is to study whether there is relevant evidence of a crime and, if there is, to establish, depending on where the events took place. conduct and jurisdiction, to which the Office of the Prosecutor is responsible for initiating the investigation procedures ”.

The limits of hate crime

However, other messages which have also been denounced as crimes of threats or incitement to hatred have not been brought to court. This is the case of the posters that Vox circulated in the Madrid election campaign, in which he compared with false data according to which the expenditure on unaccompanied foreign children reaches 4,700 euros per month, while that of some thought she doesn’t. exceed 426. Judge Carmen Rodríguez-Medel rejected the preventive withdrawal of these advertisements in an order in which she explained that “case law requires something more” in order to be able to apply the criminal type of hate crime, aimed at persecuting those who “publicly encourage, promote or incite directly or indirectly hatred, hostility, discrimination and violence against a group” because of their ethnicity, religion, ideology or gender identity .

And what does the cartel lack, according to the judge, to be a criminal? According to the case law of the Supreme Court, there must be “a certain danger of generating a climate of violence and hostility which may take the form of specific acts of violence, hatred or discrimination” against these groups, as stated in the ordinance which filed an investigation against Vox leader Javier Ortega Smith for saying that young Republicans known as Thirteen Roses, murdered during the civil war, engaged in “torture, rape and the vile murder “. “In today’s Spanish society – more than eighty years after these events – (this action) already presents a clear rejection,” said the Supreme Court.

The prosecutor’s office, however, does not agree with this approach and has appealed against the order in the provincial court of Madrid seeking the annulment of Rodríguez-Medel’s decision and the final removal of the posters, it being understood that they convey< une réification et une déshumanisation >> of a particularly vulnerable group which entails a risk of real violence against its members.

Government sniper and ex-servicemen discuss.

The National Court also received a complaint for threats against public bodies and for hate crimes against a neighbor in Malaga who starred in a video in which he shot photographs of various members of the government. On October 7, 2020, Judge José de la Mata closed the investigation by stressing that there was no “preconceived plan” to intimidate the President, Pedro Sánchez, and his ministers, but rather the author of the shootings and the companions who recorded him, they wanted to “pass the time and kill the time” with a practice that the instructor himself described as “regrettable and despicable”.

To this, we must add that they did not intend to distribute the video on social networks but that they sent it to a third party who was in charge of viralization. “It is also not possible to consider that in this case there was a serious, real and persistent threat of a bad future, unjust, determined, possible, causing a natural intimidation and dependent on the exclusive will of the active subject “, argued the judge, who also stressed that the shooter repented and apologized.

The decision of the Madrid provincial prosecutor’s office to archive the investigative procedures it had opened against the retired soldiers who defended in a WhatsApp chat the idea of ​​carrying out a coup against the government and even the need to “Shoot 26 million sons of bitches”. In this case, the representative of the prosecution did not warn against a crime of incitement to hatred because the authors of these comments made these expressions in a private sphere and also do not intend to publicize these so-called plans and their expressions were produced “freely and in the confidence of being among friends”. Although not criminal, the prosecutor’s office said these terms could be considered “inappropriate, excessive and unfortunate.”

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