Controversial Pardon… Again

Saturday, September 7, 2013
By Hugh MacArthur

The Rajoy Administration has issued a partial pardon to Luis Fuentes Chanes, a Catalan policeman who was found guilty of illegal detention in 2012.

Thanks to the decision taken at the Board of Ministers, the four years barred from police service has been commuted to only two years of suspension from duty, meaning that he can go back on the beat once the suspension ends.

The incident which lead to his trial took place in a parking lot in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona. An elderly lady had been informed by her son that he could not get his motorbike out because it was hemmed in by three parked cars. She turned up to take photos of the badly parked cars. However, one of these vehicles belonged to a relative of the policeman, who also turned up in civilian dress to berate the woman.

However, he was not content to raise his voice to her, but also shoved her around, hitting her with his open hand and confiscating her camera.

Fortunately, another woman who owns a parking bay in the same car park and who is not related to either the policeman or his victim saw the whole thing. Thanks to the man shaking the woman violently, she suffered injuries to her wrist and back.

Moments later, now out on the street, he immobilized her with handcuffs and called the Policia Local. Only at this point did he reveal that he was an off-duty policeman belonging to the Mossos d’Esquadra. This police force has a terrible record for police brutality, by the way.

Incredibly, he charged her with ‘revelation of secrets;’ i.e., taking photographs of him, assault and coercion. However, the judge threw out his claims as thanks to the camera that he presented as evidence, there was not one photograph of him; only the badly parked cars.

Amazingly, the policeman’s defence lawyer claimed that his client mistakenly believed that “he could also act as a policeman in his own personal affairs.” The judge would have none of it.

Policeman, Luis Fuentes, on the other hand was found guilty of bodily harm and slander.

The judge did apply a sentence reduction because the case had taken so long to reach trial – six years. The judge also added a note for the Government recommending the sentence from four to two years barred from the police, because the policeman had become carried away owing to a lack of experience (he had only served for two years) but the Government went even further and changed the recommended two-year reduction to that of only suspension rather than being barred; the latter means that he loses his position in the police whilst the former obliges the police to maintain his post for him.

(News: Spain)

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