Justice maintains the release from jail of the murderer of the massacre of the Atocha lawyers who fled to Brazil, Carlos García Juliá, for November 19, despite attempts by the defense of the victims in recent months to revoke the liquidation of conviction approved by the Ciudad Real Provincial Court in May, which lowered the sentence that he had to serve since he was extradited in early February from ten years to nine months. At the beginning of this month, justice has reconfirmed this decision, which will allow the far-rightist to be released one day before 20N, a historic date for the Spanish far-right as it is the anniversary of the deaths of dictator Francisco Franco and José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Spanish Falange.
40 years after the Atocha massacre: the regime that died killing
Section number 1 of the Ciudad Real Provincial Court has issued an order, dated September 1, in which “the appeal filed by the representation of the injured parties is inadmissible,” against the order that dismisses the challenge of the settlement of sentence. This new notification states that there was no room for “filing any appeal” against the contested resolution, although it allows all parties to file a new appeal for reply against this last decision. The lawyer Cristina Almeida, who defends the victims in this procedure and is part of the Board of Trustees of the Fundación Abogados de Atocha, has assured elDiario.es that last Wednesday they registered a last resort, although she considers that “the only possibility” that It remains “after this” is to go to the Constitutional Court to defend “the lack of judicial protection of the victims.”
García Juliá was convicted in March 1980, with José Fernández Cerrá, for the murder of five people in the labor law firm located at number 55 Atocha street in 1977. In the sentence it was proven that the gunmen constituted an “activist and ideological group, defender of a radicalized and totalitarian political ideology, dissatisfied with the institutional change that was taking place in Spain.” After more than two decades on the run, one of those convicted of the Atocha massacre was extradited on February 6 from Brazil to continue serving the 30-year sentence imposed (the maximum that is fulfilled in Spain, despite having been sentenced to 193 years).
More than 20 years on the run from country to country
In 1991 he was granted parole and three years later he requested authorization to leave Spain. Justice allowed him to leave the country to accept a job offer in Paraguay, once there he had to go to the Spanish Embassy monthly. However, chose to break the obligations of his parole, for which he was declared a fugitive on August 14, 1996, as explained by the National Police being located 22 years later in Brazil.
The National High Court kept open a request for search, detention and admission – after an escape, which began in 1994 – to fulfill in Spain the more than 3,800 days (just over ten years) that they estimated that he had pending in prison. However, after the extradition, the Ciudad Real Provincial Court made a new calculation of the penalty. They opted to reduce it to 287 days, taking into account the year and two months that he was imprisoned in Brazil awaiting extradition and the ordinary (2,351 days) and extraordinary (787 days) redemptions provided by the penitentiary centers before the escape.
Almeida explains that they requested a “challenge” of the settlement of the sentence and adds that García Juliá’s defense took advantage of the Penal Code of 1973 “which reduces him to 193 years, and he can only serve 30”. “However, in the penitentiary laws that were in force, the redemption of sentences could not be applied neither when they are in preventive nor if they have been sentenced for breach of sentence,” he points out. In the last appeal filed against the order issued on September 1, the lawyer recalls that the Court of Ciudad Real convicted the ultra-rightist in November 1980 “for a crime of breaking his sentence, along with other illegal detention, an attack on a police officer. authority and injury “. The facts tried occurred, according to a recent statement of the Fundación Abogados de Atocha, before the trial of the massacre in the labor law office, when the convicted man tried to “escape from the Ciudad Real prison”, struggling “with several officials, slightly injuring one of them, and locking them all in a cell. ”
For its part, García Juliá’s defense requests that this last registered appeal be rejected because they consider that it has been “presented outside the legally established deadline”. They also point out that the appeal against one ruling is not “a channel to modify firm resolutions of other requests “.
Defense questions penalty count
Faced with this situation, the lawyer alleges that the convicted person “did not have the right to the benefit of redemption of penalties for work because both the Penal Code of 1973, as the prison regulations of February 2, 1956 and Decree 162/1968, in the Article 65 determines that those who violate the sentence or attempt to violate it, even if they do not achieve their purpose, may not redeem penalties for work. ” The procedure is being carried out in Ciudad Real because “the last criminal sentence” handed down against García Juliá was issued by the Provincial Court of that region, sources from the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha explained to elDiario.es.
In July, Section Number 1 of the Ciudad Real Provincial Court dismissed the challenge to the conviction. Despite the fact that the court stated in the order issued that “it understands and shares the contradiction and perplexity that causes a subject who escaped from Spanish justice for a long period of time sentenced to 193 years in prison,” they clarified that their decision it is based on a “principle of legality and application of the norm in force at the time”.
In the order they cite jurisprudence referring to the Penal Code of 1973 in which it is stated that “the benefit of redemption of penalties for work did not appear legally configured as a conditional benefit that could be revoked in certain cases, since even in the cases in those that the convict was unable to redeem in the future, this did not affect the days already redeemed “. Likewise, they insisted that the convicted person cannot be deprived of “the redeemed days prior to the breach, because it was already approved by the prison surveillance judge and in that sense it became firm and intangible, and although in the future it will not be able to obtain these benefits. they are deprived of those recognized for the sake of legal certainty. ”
The order issued also denied the request that “the time he was deprived of liberty” be not taken into account while his arrival in Spain was being processed. The court explained that both the extradition treaty with Brazil, as well as the Penal Code of 1973, protected that this period be computed. García Juliá’s flight was not limited to the country from which he was extradited in February 2020. The far-rightist had managed to stay hidden for more than two decades, residing in Chile, Argentina, Venezuela and, finally, Brazil. García Juliá used a false identity for more than two decades, jumping from country to country.