Father Battles Against Pardon

The Government has recommended (a euphemism for ‘ordered’) a series of Royal Pardons recently that have caused nothing but controversy. The following deals with one of them.

In the latest case, it deals with a car accident resulting in the deaths of three young passengers which occurred in Huétor Santillán in July 2008. The driver of the vehicle was sentenced to 3-years’ imprisonment. However, around the 20th of this month the driver received a partial pardon which reduced his sentenced to less than two years, meaning that he won’t have to actually go to prison as it is now a suspended sentence.

For the parents of the victims, who were aged 15, 17 and 22, this came as a huge blow; so much so that one of the parents, Manuel Hidalgo has lodged an appeal against the pardon. His lawyer has already informed him that a pardon is by nature irreversible and nobody to date has managed to overturn one, but that is not stopping the grieving father from trying.

He will lodge his appeal through the Supreme Court, but not through the criminal side of it, but the administrative side of it, because a pardon is an administrative decision.

The case has been full of unusual details, such as the lawyer representing the father in his appeal was the Public Prosecutor that initially obtained a 3-year sentence against Rafael, the driver. The father had approached him when he found out that he is now just a practicing lawyer; the father hired him as way of thanks for prosecuting the Rafael in the first place.

The father said that if this fails he will do anything to battle on; chaining himself to a railings or going on a hunger strike, because if he doesn’t, he feels, he will have failed the memory of his son.

At the time of the accident, Rafael, who had only recently obtained his driving licence and had no insurance, was driving at 120 kph on a road where the speed limit was 40 kph.

(News: Huétor Santillán, Granada, Andalucia)