A CATHOLIC priest has gone on trial for smuggling drugs into Barcelona’s Modelo jail.
It is alleged that he did it so that prisoners could “snort and smoke their way out of the tedium of a life behind bars”.
If found guilty, Father Andreu Oliveras, a former prison chaplain, faces the prospect of ending up behind bars himself – for up to 10 years.
Oliveras was caught when he brought in a bulky CD case stuffed with eight grams of cocaine and 51 grams of hashish, a court in Barcelona was told.
He had allegedly smuggled the drugs to a prisoner, Benjamín Capitán, who had been banned, as a punishment, from receiving packages for six months.
Giving up drugs
On Monday Oliveras appeared in court surrounded by about 150 fellow priests, nuns and parishioners from his new church in Barcelona.
He told the court he did not know the CD case he handed over to one of the prisoners contained the drugs.
He said he felt pity for Capitán, who occasionally played the guitar in the prison chapel.
He said he believed that he was taking him five CDs that he had been given by a fellow prisoners wife in a nearby park.
Oliveras reminded the court that he had devoted much of his 15-year period as a prison chaplain to helping people give up drugs.