The decision of keep the members of La Manada on provisional release by the Second Section of the Provincial Court of Navarre has reopened the debate on the judicial system despite the fact that it is a common practice for those sentenced without a final judgment to be on the street after two years. Politicians, jurists, feminists, lawyers and various groups express their indignation at the new court ruling of a court that has been in place for more than two years at the center of the controversy over his decisions on the case of the five men who sexually abused an 18-year-old girl on the first night of San Fermín in 2016. First, for the conviction for sexual abuse with prevalimiento and not for aggression, later, for his release Y now, for the continuation of that situation of freedom. The Audience has also generated perplexity more than once as when During the trial, he took into account the report of private detectives about the young woman in social networks hired by one of the defenses.
Again the decision on #The pack unworthy of feminist Spain that does not want us to be killed or raped because we are women. The UN insists: with patriarchal justice there is no equality. In front of all the sexist violence, what the judges do not do, the women will do
– Irene Montero (@Irene_Montero_) January 3, 2019
"Very disappointing", this is the verdict for Yolanda Besteiro, the president of the Progressive Women's Foundation. "With a nine-year sentence of the Provincial Court ratified by the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra, it is normal that they had been imprisoned because, presumably, the Supreme Court[[that has to rule on the sentence to nine years for sexual abuse with prevalimiento after all the parties appealed the verdict of the TSJN]It will not lower the penalty. From that perspective it is not justified to continue in freedom. " But what bothers Besteiro most is that this contributes to generate distrust of citizens in the system: "This new decision is to ratify the full validity of the culture of the violation, which is what is taking place in the Case of the Pack, which tends to reduce the seriousness of the acts committed by the aggressors and blame the victims of their own aggression. "
Soledad Murillo, the Secretary of State for Equality, remember that "it is important to insist that even if there are two or three problematic sentences that leave us perplexed, there are many other judges who are acting with total diligence, who issue sentences that protect women and offer security." Although this is not the case and Murillo, who explains that when he has to give some opinion on judicial decisions he does it without shame, was blunt when pronounced on Twitter: "I accept but not respect. How cheap is the rape in a group: bond of 6,000 euros and provisional freedom. While his lawyer on the TV sets, but without the replica of an expert jurist.
In the same line he has issued his statement Platform 7N against sexist violence, in which he claims the Supreme Court "to remedy this insult to the security and freedom of women" and the Government "to immediately process legislative reforms that prevent this type of judicial atrocities." They have also manifested politicians like Irene Montero, of Podemos, who recalled that the UN insists that "with patriarchal justice there is no equality", or Gabriel Rufián, from ERC, who has posted a brief tweet with the text "The Pack bears toga". And the debate has come back to the academic field. Teachers like Joaquín Urias, of Constitutional Law, has written: "Of course. The provisional prison serves so that politicians who approved in the Parliament a symbolic declaration and never have been condemned take more than a year in the jail. Not for simple convicted rapists and twice for 9 years. " An idea with which feminism agrees. Well-known tweets like Bebi Fernández They also made their assessment. She warned: "If justice does not protect women, it will be she who has to protect herself. We will not stay as we are. These refusals to the necessary change in the society constitute an incentive more so that soon we are not two million and we become tens of millions ".
Prison or provisional freedom?
The provisional prison, explains the criminal lawyer Raul Ochoa, "is an extraordinary measure of our legislation, with it what is done is to serve a sentence in advance." The normal thing, as pointed out by the Law of Criminal Procedure, is that without a final sentence be on the street After two years, freedom is part of the rights of every person with a sentence that, if it is not signed, can be modified. " Association of Women Judges of Spain (AMJE) explained in a statement last summer that provisional detention is, in effect, "an exceptional measure in our law that should only be agreed when there are specific circumstances related to the risk of flight, theft and concealment of evidence, grounds based on the protection of the victim and danger of criminal reiteration. "But they also pointed out that" the law allows the adoption of this precautionary measure, which, in the event that there is a conviction not signed, may be extended up to half of the penalty imposed. "
Lucia Avilés, of AMJE, adds that the Lecrim also says that the circumstances of each case are taken into account: "And in the car there is no talk of the crime against privacy by which the TSJN ordered the Provincial Court to issue new sentence for having been recorded the victim, for example". In addition, in this case "it seems that the court forgets the seriousness of the sentence, ratified by the Superior Court of Justice of Navarre." The judge refers to the Istanbul Convention – the European agreement signed in 2014 against gender violence: "As dictated by the Convention, the gender perspective must be at all stages of the criminal process to protect the fundamental rights of women. victims. "
Something that was not done for Sara Vicente, lawyer and member of the Commission for the investigation of mistreatment of women, when on June 22 they were released on provisional release: "That was when the ruling was made, but now it is nothing new, the penalty is provisional because there is no final judgment and there is no objective situation that leads them to change the criteria for which they were released last June, legally this is the case ". However, he concludes, another thing is what feminist groups think about this: "And it seems bad to us, it seemed wrong to us that they were released in June and it seems bad now."
The judicial decision to keep La Manada free did not catch Carlos Bacaicoa, one of the two lawyers for the victim, who was "convinced" for days that this was what was going to happen, by surprise. On the phone, on several occasions, warned that everything would depend on Raquel Fernandino, the magistrate whose vote decided her release on June 22, 2018. "And I do not think I'll change my mind," Bacaicoa snapped before Christmas.
He was not wrong. "I can not agree with this decision, although we have no choice but to comply with it," explained the lawyer, who in principle says they will appeal in supplication. "Although when appealing to the same body that has dictated the resolution that you resort, you can already foresee what will happen." The City Council of Pamplona will also appeal, as explained by its mayor Joseba Asiron: "We do not share this decision, it is a car that seems to deepen that deep gap that we have referred to more than once between some sectors of the the judiciary and society. "
Both Fernandino and Judge Ricardo González -the one of that particular vote that spoke of "sexual merriment" when narrating the sexual abuse with prevalimiento committed by the five men on the first night of the Sanfermines of 2016- have voted in favor of the freedom of the defendants. Only the president of the room José Francisco Cobo has cast a vote against; He requested provisional imprisonment communicated and without bail, as requested by the Prosecutor's Office of Navarra and the accusations at the beginning of last December.