The Superior Court of Justice of Madrid has rejected the appeals of the accusation and has acquittal confirmed by Enrique Tenreiro, the artist who in 2018 painted Franco's tomb in the Valley of the Fallen with red paint. The sentence can still be brought before the Supreme Court by the Valle de los Caídos Defense Association after the Prosecutor's Office has changed its criteria and withdrawn its own appeal.
The TSJ of Madrid, as previously stated by the Provincial Court, says that there is no evidence that its intention was "to attack the freedom of conscience or religious feelings" of the people who were in the basilica. Moreover, they understand that their action "was not motivated by a malicious purpose of preventing the celebration of the mass, that it had not even begun, and that, in any case, it was delayed a few moments" and that, therefore, it was not violently interrupted.
The events occurred on October 31, 2018, shortly before the mass that was to be celebrated in the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen and still a year before the exhumation of the dictator's body. The artist used red paint to draw a dove on top of the tombstone with the message "for freedom" as he shouted the message: "For the reconciliation of the Spanish," he told people attending mass at the time.
At first, the Provincial Court, with a particular vote, made it clear in its proven facts that Tenreiro had "no intention of altering the religious meeting and that he limited himself to expressing his opinion on the presence of the dictator's corpse in the Valley of the fallen". Arguments now ratified by the Superior Court of Justice: "There is no evidence or indication that the intention or purpose of the accused was to violate freedom of conscience or religious sentiments," says the sentence. On the contrary, it continues: "His action was not motivated by a malicious purpose of preventing the celebration of the mass, which he had not even begun."
The Prosecutor's Office withdrew the appeal.
At first, the Prosecutor's Office appealed the acquittal, although this ruling reveals that two weeks later it withdrew its appeal. "It is of interest to have him withdrawn from the appeal filed," says the ruling on the role of the Public Ministry, which before the trial came to ask for a year in prison for Tenreiro for painting Franco's tomb and also came to announce an appeal that later it was retired. The judges studied, therefore, the resource of the Association for the Defense of the Valley of the Fallen and the Prosecutor's Office, finally, asked that the acquittal be confirmed.
The Prosecutor's Office presented its appeal, according to the sentence, on January 31 of this year and it was made public before the media. on february 9. A resource that, according to the statement from the Madrid Public Ministry, was betting on convicting him of a crime against religious sentiments: "It is evident that the defendant exceeded the limits in the way he manifested himself by violating religious and worship freedom without any need, well he could have displayed his behavior as a protest in any other place that was not the place of worship, ”said the resource.
Now this sentence reveals that the appeal was withdrawn a few days later, on February 14, when he requested that it be considered withdrawn and changed strategy: the Prosecutor's Office went on to align itself with Tenreiro's defense and requested the Association's appeal to be dismissed. who brought the accusation.