Tuesday, December 6

The former government delegate in Ceuta and the vice president of the autonomous city, on trial for the “rude” deportation of 55 minors to Morocco

The former government delegate in Ceuta dismissed on October 31, Salvadora Mateos, and the vice president of the regional Executive, Mabel Deu (PP), will be tried criminally for an alleged crime of continued prevarication in the expulsion of 55 Moroccan migrant children alone , who were returned to their country in August 2021. The investigating judge of the case, opened at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, has concluded that both ignored in a “flagrant” and “rude” way the application of the Law on Immigration and they violated the Spanish Constitution, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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The magistrate has given ten days to the Public Ministry and the popular accusations to request the opening of an oral trial, the dismissal of the case or the practice of complementary proceedings that they consider essential to formulate an accusation. The defenses may, for their part, present an appeal for reform within three business days.

During the last five months, the investigator of the case has heard the two defendants argue as investigated that in collusion with different ministries they believed to correctly apply a 2007 bilateral agreement in an “emergency” context and looking out for the interest of minors. which requires “strict observance” of Spanish legislation.

He has also taken statements as witnesses, among others, the head of Minors of Ceuta, Toñi Palomo, who warned verbally and in writing that national and international regulations were being violated; to Mateos’s legal advisers who were not consulted and to two of the expelled children who have reiterated that she did not want to leave nor were they informed of their rights by “nobody”.

After rejecting the practice of more witnesses such as those of the Minister of the Interior or the Secretary of State for Security, the judge has concluded that the former delegate “absolutely dispensed” as the material author “of the established procedure, taking advantage of the availability that the Moroccan authorities showed exceptionally to receive ” to at least part of the minors who had irregularly accessed the Spanish town in May of last year and were still there.

As a “necessary collaborator”, Deu, who resigned from the powers of Minors in July after being charged, “was in agreement” to “proceed to hand over to Morocco the minors under her custody, knowingly dispensing with any procedure and of the issuance of the mandatory individualized resolution in accordance with the national and international legality of protection of the rights of minors”, whose vulnerability is proven by their condition as single migrants.

The magistrate considers that it has been verified that the two politicians already indicted “disregarded the prohibition of collective repatriations, they dispensed with the administrative procedure at all, especially the hearing of the minor, his right to legal assistance and an interpreter, the prior processing of hearing of the Public Prosecutor and the duty to issue a reasoned resolution in which the interest of the minor is considered, also violating the right to appeal against the repatriation decision, because what happened is that it went directly to the execution phase, which was the purpose pursued”.

In addition, it explains that “since the Monitoring Committee referred to in article 6 of the Spanish-Moroccan Agreement of 2007 was not established, there is a lack of official information on the situation and measures adopted with each of the affected minors, ignoring whether they have actually returned with their families or who has taken care of them in each case, having produced in some cases the new surreptitious access to our country of minors”.

At least six of the 55 deported children have managed to return to Spain and two have been offered to exercise private prosecution after declaring as witnesses that they did not want to be returned and no one informed them of their rights.

“With their arbitrary proceeding, the investigated parties made an absolute abandonment of the duty to protect the affected minors that the legislation attributed to them in their respective jurisdictions, putting their physical and moral integrity at risk, causing a materially unfair result, without any justification for it. , not even the exceptional situation”, since “they have not even proven that, given the availability of Morocco to receive minors, mechanisms were arbitrated to speed up legal procedures”, asserted the magistrate.


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