Return to the Inquisition

LAST UPDATED: 27 Nov, 2013 @ 15:02
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Return to the Inquisition

FOUR environmental activists face jail terms of up to nine years after throwing cream pies at a regional politician.

The four men – part of Mugitu, a non-violent environmental protest group – pelted Navarra president Yolanda Barcina Angulo with pies as part of a protest against the development of a new high-speed AVE rail network across the Pyrenees.

Appearing in court, the men were told they had left Barcina ‘dazed and disorientated’.

One member of the group Gorka Ovejero Gamboa faces up to nine years in prison, while the other three, Julio Martín Villanueva, Ibón García Garrido and Mikel Álvarez Forcada, could spend six years in jail.

But their defence lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, attacked the charges, saying: “If these people are convicted, the court will look like a tribunal during the Inquisition rather than a modern court of law.”

Boye claimed that the court had rejected all eyewitness accounts called by the defence and accepted only the evidence of two Spanish police officers, who were not actually present when the incident happened.
Ovejero expressed his shock at facing such a severe sentence.

He said: “In Belgium the activist Nöel Godin and his group have thrown more than 100 pies in the face of important people and they have always been understood to be expressions of surrealist art.

“In Spain, authority figures are protected as much, if not more, as they were under the dictatorship.

“If you throw a pie in the face of your local barber, nothing will happen. But if you do it to a public official, you’ll find the great weight of the law coming down on top of you.”

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