October 19, 2020

Judge Pablo Ibar, the Spaniard who has been imprisoned in the US for 26 years


An image from the documentary series, with Pablo Ibar, with a beard, in the center.

Most of us know this from Pablo Ibar: son of a Basque emigrated to U.S, and many of them were spent on death row despite the efforts of his relatives and his lawyers to show that there is not enough evidence against him. “And that is why I have considered it necessary to tell his case, which is much more complex than people think“, clarifies the Sevillian director Olmo Figueredo. To fulfill his objective he has needed six documentary episodes of about 55 minutes each and grouped under the title ‘The State against Pablo Ibar’. The first two have seen the light this Thursday at the Festival of Saint Sebastian.

Throughout its footage, whose narrative backbone is the long legal path during which Ibar’s initial sentence was first overturned and a new trial later sentenced him to life imprisonment, the series reveals a judicial process plagued with irregularities. “The police made flagrant errors in the investigation because they were in a rush to find a suspect, and then both the prosecution team and the judge were more interested in making Pablo seem guilty than in seeking the truth, “says Ibar’s father, Cándido, one of the great protagonists of the documentary.” Since the case has arrived to be so media, and that it reached not only the Spanish Senate but also the European Parliament, the American justice did not want to recognize its error and to face a scandal “.

As ‘The State against Pablo Ibar‘makes it clear, likewise, the defendant’s defense was seriously harmed by the sudden death of his main lawyer, Alan Ross, which left the team of lawyers headless and generated trust problems on the part of Ibar and his family members. “Some things should have been done differently,” admits Candido. “The prosecution resorted to tricky methods, and I think the defense should have done the same to put the judge on the ropes. They were too legal. “The series offers evidence of that foul play on the part of the prosecution, but in any case does not take sides.” The idea is that the viewer draws his own conclusions, as if he were one of the 12 members of the jury ” , says Figueredo, who has already participated in the production of the fiction series ‘En el calle de la muerte’ (2019), also focused on the case and starring Miguel Angel Silvestre.

Two years have passed since Ibar was sentenced to spend the rest of his days in jail. When the time comes, you can file an appeal, but the process will be maddeningly slow. “Even if Pablo was guilty, he has already spent 26 years in jail, so it is clear that he would have paid for what he did,” says his father. “But what if he did not do it and despite this he has spent more than half of his life deprived of freedom? Is there a greater injustice than that?”

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