Wednesday, December 7

The National Court refuses to prohibit acts by Parot and other ETA prisoners on New Year’s Eve

The judge of the National Court José Luis Calama has refused to prohibit several acts called this New Year’s Eve by the ETA prison support network, Sare, such as the one scheduled in Arrasate-Mondragón, which the victims consider a tribute to ETA members like Henri Parot despite the refusal of this organization.

Once again and following the criteria of the Prosecutor’s Office, the magistrate has rejected the request of several groups of victims who saw in acts like this or another planned in Pamplona a possible exaltation of terrorism and humiliation of those who suffered closely the attacks of the gang terrorist.

However, neither the judge nor the Public Prosecutor’s Office have observed sufficient grounds to prohibit them as there is, in the words of the magistrate, “no evidence whatsoever to affirm (…) that any crime has occurred or is going to occur.”

“We are thus faced with a call for the expression of opinions that disturb or shock various sectors of society, which, according to the aforementioned jurisprudence, have no place ex ante in the criminal sphere,” the judge indicates in separate files.

The magistrate emphasizes, as he did when he refused to prohibit another act scheduled in September in Mondragón in favor of Parot, that criminal law “lacks preventive powers” and that what corresponds to it is “the prosecution of criminal acts once they have been committed. task”.

And this is when it points directly to the legislator: remember that the European Parliament already asked the Member States in 2018 to prohibit “tributes to people found guilty of carrying out terrorist activities by final judgment” and, therefore, “it is evident “It is up to him to dictate a rule that complies with this provision. Now it must be the governmental authority, adds the judge, who must decide whether the convocations denounced comply with the regulations for their celebration.

Even so, and as is often the case in these cases, the magistrate urges the Security Forces to be vigilant to prevent actions punishable by the Penal Code from being incurred.

Calls in Pamplona and Mondragón

The judge’s orders refer to the acts called on Friday by Etxerat and Sare in Pamplona and Arrasate-Mondragón. The latter is the one that has generated the most controversy given that the victims denounce that ETA prisoners such as Parot, José Manuel Pagoaga Gallastegui, “Peixoto”; and Eugenio Barrutiabengoa, “Arbe”, whose names appeared on the poster at the beginning, while Sare, who eliminated these allusions, insists that it is not a tribute but a protest against prison policy.

According to the magistrate, the elements that the Justice has, including a report prepared by the Ertzaintza, state that “it is about the expression of a desire to bring prisoners closer” without entering, he says, “in the justification or exaltation of the actions “for which they are in prison and that, therefore, the conduct is protected by freedom of expression.

The judge’s decision evidences the difficulties faced by the victims when it comes to reporting this type of act, given that, according to the Prosecutor’s Office in its reports, following the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, in order to commit a crime of exaltation, it is necessary to produce a risk to secondary eventual terrorist actions.