Justice withdraws the highest decoration in life from a person convicted of torture and three other commissioners

The National Court has declared the nullity of the process by which the Silver Medal for Police Merit was awarded to four commissioners of the National Police Corps on the occasion of their retirement, including Héctor Gómez, convicted in the past of torture and who benefited of a pardon from the Aznar government. The Central Contentious-Administrative Court number 11 of the National High Court has upheld the appeal filed by the Spanish Police Confederation (CEP) in which the police union alleged that the Ministry of the Interior had not carried out the mandatory consultation with the unions.

The recognition of the four commissioners meant an increase in their pension of 15% monthly and for life. Along with Héctor Gómez, former chief of Police in Cantabria, two other commissioners were awarded the Silver Medal for their retirement last year: the former head of Internal Affairs Francisco Miguelañez and Francisco Rodríguez López, superior chief in Melilla until his retirement . The fourth recipient of the Silver Medal was José María Moreno, who retired in 2020 as a superior officer in the Canary Islands. The resolution granting the decorations was signed by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

The controversy over the granting of pensioned medals, and especially their assignment to commanders who do not put their lives at risk, intensified within the Police with these four Silver decorations. In CEP's lawsuit, the union alleges that "the legally established procedure has not been followed" for its concession, which is "violating the fundamental right to freedom of association."

“In the processing, the union organizations have been ignored, the plaintiff has never had knowledge of the procedures for these four medals; she does not know the proponent unit of the same; He has not had a period of five days to formulate allegations and he does not know if it has been granted for a specific fact or for professional experience. Absolutely nothing ”, collected the aforementioned demand. And he added: "The indignation has been increased even more when it became known that members of the GEO and the IPU deployed in Kabul, risking their lives in an objective and credible way, this year have been awarded a lower-ranking decoration."

In its resolution, the National High Court resolves: “The right to participate in the concession procedure must be recognized for trade union organizations and this is contemplated in the resolution whose application in this case has been omitted, which we have already said that we consider applicable. This omission, by itself, makes the appointments null and void.”

CEP has reacted today by assuring that the Ministry of the Interior and the General Directorate of the Police avoided consulting the unions with these four medals so that they would not denounce that "this end-of-career award offends thousands of colleagues who risk their lives on a daily basis and who do not go home, when they turn 65, with an additional shutdown every month and with the highest level decoration of the Corps to a living official "

beat up in 1982

The events for which Héctor Moreno García was convicted occurred on April 29, 1982 in the Madrid neighborhood of Malasaña. According to the sentence, issued in 1994 by the Provincial Court of Madrid, seven agents arrested several passers-by "without any cause". One of the police officers, who is not identified in the ruling, hit one of the citizens with a pistol and then, together with Moreno García, they rubbed his head against some garbage cans and put him in the police vehicle. Another victim was hit several times with the door of a patrol car. The police, according to the ruling, called the detainees “scoundrels and sons of bitches”. The beatings and threats continued at the police station. Later, the agents falsified the police report. Among those arrested was a lawyer.

The police officers involved were sentenced more than a decade later to 48 years of special disqualification and five and a half months of arrest for torture and illegal detention. In 1998, four years later, the Aznar government commuted the sentence and established a suspension of six months and one day as long as none of the five convicted police officers again "committed an intentional crime during the normal serving time" of the sentence.

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