Protesters gather outside the High Court of Navarra behind a banner reading

Spain's 'Wolf Pack' policeman violates probation but still free


One of the five men in ‘La Manada’ (Wolf Pack), freed from jail despite a nine-year sentence for sexual abuse, has attempted to renew his passport.

Such an action was expressly forbidden by the courts.

The High Court of Navarra, however refused a prosecution request that Antonio Manuel Guerrero, a police officer, be returned to jail. Guerrero was reported to have tried to renew his passport in Seville last 25 June despite having it expressly prohibited by decision of this same court (El País in Spanish).

One of the five men sentenced to nine years in prison for a recurrent crime of sexual abuse, Guerrero’s new imprisonment was requested on the grounds that he violated the injunction imposed in the release order.

Member of the Spanish Armed Forces, Alfonso Jesus Cabezuelo, had been suspended for six months during his trial, with four other men, for raping a woman at the San Fermín festival in Pamplona, Navarra, in 2016 — Spain’s Ministry of Defense lifted the suspension last July 11.

It argued it had no option regarding Cabezuelo — sentenced to nine years’ prison for sexual abuse of a young woman during the 2016 “running of the bulls” festival in the city of Pamplona — and stressed that for the moment he will not be assigned a posting. After sentencing for sexual assault rather than rape, the five young men were released on bail, although they had already spent two years in jail (Reuters).

Defence Minister Margarita Robles applied Article 111.3 of the Military Career Act, regarding a situation when an army member is released from preventive custody — thus ending the suspension of service. In this case the soldier may not be assigned a new posting until the court reaches its final decision (El País in English).

Protesters gather outside the High Court of Navarra behind a banner reading "No is No! Justice!" While awaiting a verdict on five men accused of the multiple rape of a woman during Pamplona's San Fermin festival in 2016, in Pamplona, Spain, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent West
Protesters gather outside the High Court of Navarra behind a banner reading “No is No! Justice!” While awaiting a verdict on five men accused of the multiple rape of a woman during Pamplona’s San Fermin festival in 2016, April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent West

Under Spanish law, rape is sexual abuse which involves violence or intimidation. While the  the judges’ verdicts were based on videos in which the victim was not seen to express objection but an “undeniable relaxed expression”, the prosecution claimed the five men involved placed the woman in a small alcove “covering her mouth and telling her to shut up and not to scream” and they had sexual intercourse with her “using their physical and numerical superiority” and her inability to “exercise the slightest resistance” (EuroNews in Spanish).

The outcry has led the government to announce plans to tighten the law on sexual crimes to follow EU standards. In Sweden, new legislation guarantees prosecution as a rape to any sexual act without explicit consent (EuroNews).

See earlier WikiTribune coverage of La Manada case.

 

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