The Supreme Court has confirmed a sentence of 1 year and 7 months in prison for a military man who in 2015 sent several threatening letters to politicians – including the current minister Alberto Garzon – warning about the rise of Podemos and threatening a coup. The defendant, who was then part of the legal body of the Ministry of Defense, signed the letters posing as one of the soldiers convicted of the 1981 coup attempt.
Alberto Garzón denounces having received a threatening letter signed by a condemned by 23F
Most of the letters reached their addressees February 23, 2015. Letters addressed to Jorge Fernández Díaz, then Minister of the Interior, and to the then United Left deputies Cayo Lara and Alberto Garzón. Letters that spoke of “the terrible consequences of an electoral victory of the terrorist organization Podemos” and warned that “I will not hesitate to use all means including weapons to prevent” the left from reaching the government. The letter sent to Cayo Lara, for example, had a clear death threat: “Say goodbye to life.”
The letters were not signed by the author, at that time assigned to the legal advice of the Civil Guard in the Canary Islands, but by Vicente Javier Carricondo Sánchez. A Civil Guard colonel who was sentenced to a one-year suspension from employment for his involvement in the coup led by Tejero in February 1981. The letters also extolled the victory of the Franco regime in the Civil War: “Our martyrs demand the honor that they won in a fair contest and that more than seventy years ago they managed to expel the communists and anarchists from the homeland “.
Alberto Garzón was the first to make the letters public, and Carricondo quickly denied let that be his signature. The truth is that José Miguel GR, auditor captain, had used his professional passwords to access a public procurement portal and extract Carricondo’s signature to stamp it on the letters and make their recipients believe that they were being threatened by one of the coup plotters of 23-F. The letters clearly stated that “my first duty as a soldier is to redirect the leadership of the current Government of Spain manu militari.”
Now it has been the Supreme Court that has confirmed the sentence that the Madrid Justice imposed on this military in the first instance. A firm sentence of 1 year and 7 months in prison and disqualification from passive suffrage, in addition to compensation of one thousand euros for Carricondo for impersonating his identity, for a crime of falsifying private documents. He has been acquitted of revealing secrets and usurpation of marital status for which he initially faced a request for five years in prison from the Prosecutor’s Office.
It remains to be seen whether this firm conviction by criminal means implies that this auditor captain loses his status as a member of the Civil Guard. The Code of the body includes among its very serious offenses to be firmly condemned to a fraudulent crime “service related“or any other crime” causes serious damage to the Administration, citizens or entities with legal personality. “It is a decision that the Ministry of Defense will have to take now. The decision of the Provincial Court of Madrid collected various documentation that pointed to a previous confrontation between the convicted man and the military coup whose signature was stamped on the letters: in the past Carricondo had reported him to his superiors for a possible serious offense committed by the audit captain.
The criminal chamber of the Supreme Court has confirmed his conviction by dismissing his arguments for nullity on, for example, the chain of custody of some evidence, the inadmissibility of evidence proposed by his defense or the origin of the evidence. “No irregularity or cause of nullity is invoked in relation to the chain of custody,” say the judges.
A sentence of which the magistrate Andrés Palomo has been a speaker and which highlights the “social significance or the use of means used” to perpetrate the crime. The magistrates recall that “the military man who appeared as the signatory of the letter had been convicted of his involvement in the coup d’état of February 23, 1981; and the way in which the signature that was transposed in the documents had been accessed dated precisely on February 23, 2015, from telematic means through a download of a document that contained a URL dedicated to the contracting of the State “.
The magistrates also reject that his sentence should be reduced due to the delays in the process. The Supreme Court acknowledges that “we are not facing an exemplary procedure, there has been a significant stoppage of ten months and the overall duration of the procedure has not reached four years” but that does not constitute, according to the criminal court, an extraordinary circumstance ” “in order to take into account that there are undue delays.