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Sentence of the Spanish Supreme Court about a Muslim Spanish citizen

Wednesday 26 July 2006, by Spanish Supreme Court

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The Spanish Supreme Court declared null yesterday the sentence of conviction against a Muslim Spanish citizen by the Audiencia Nacional (the highest Spanish court on criminal matters).That sentence (of the AN) considered true that the accused was a member of a yihadist group and that he was in favor of international terrorism, despite the lack of evidences and of the declaration of the accused against Al Qaeda and against the death of innocents caused by terrorist actions.

The accused was arrested by Pakistani Authorities in 2001 when he tried to leave Afghanistan before the attacks of the US Army began . Later, he was handed to the American authorities in Afghanistan and was taken to Guantanamo base, where he remained until February 2004. Judge Garzón demanded his extradition in order to make a formal accusation against him for being member of Al Qaeda. However, the American authorities released the accused and sent him to Spain without charges, something that did not prevent the Audiencia Nacional from ordering the detention of the accused and finally sentencing him to 6 years of prison.

But the Supreme Court has reversed totally the sentence and has stated that:

Neither the motivations of the appellant to go to Afghanistan, nor the activities he did there, allow us to obtain the grounds of certainty declared by the court of the Audiencia Nacional, since the conclusions drawn by the court are not found in the source of proofs as it is claimed by the court...

In summary, the condemnatory sentence does not go, by far, beyond the cannon of ’certainty beyond any reasonable doubt’ which is required for any conviction. ... There is a total lack of proofs.

There is a violation of the right to the presumption of innocence of the appellant, with the conclusion that the appeal must be accepted and the appellant acquitted... being freed immediately.»

In addition, the Spanish Supreme Court, in its acquittal sentence, makes the following statement:

The detention of hundreds of people, the appellant among them, without charges, without guarantees and therefore without control and limits, in Guantanamo base, under the custody of US Army, represents a situation of impossible explanation and even less justification from the legal and political point of view.

It could be perfectly said that Guantanamo is a real ’limbo’in the Legal Community which is so well defined by many Treaties and Conventions signed by the International Community, representing in itself a clear illustration of what some scientifical doctrine has defined as ’Criminal Law of the Enemy’. ... The main points of that peculiar legal construction would be:

a) In distinction of the Criminal Law based on facts -material facts-, characteristics of the democratic society, the criminal law of the enemy is a law of culprit, focused not in what has been done, but in what it could be done because the condition of terrorist.

b) There is a generalized decline or overturning of the procedural guarantees characteristics of the due legal process.

c) The sentences envisaged for that attitude -not for the acts committed-, since the emphasis is put on the risks produced, are of such great seriousness and disproportion that they go clearly beyond any idea of moderation, restraint and limit connected to the idea of law, and, more precisely, to the idea of criminal law.

»... The values of Liberty, Coexistence, Plurality and Human Rights cannot be defended by the State with such iniciatives that violate the very values they intent to defend.»

The sentence full text in Spanish

Word - 158 kb
Tribunal Sentencia Penal

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