GREENPEACE activists are facing the longest jail sentences ever given to a member of the NGO in Spain, at a trial today.
The 16 activists and a photojournalist working for Agence France-Press, Pedro Armestre, face up to three years in jail for their part in a nuclear plant protest.
They are charged with public order offences and with injuring two security guards after breaking into Spain’s most powerful nuclear plant, Cofrentes, in 2011.
The NGO also risks a fine of €357,000, at the Valencia trial.
“This trial aims to blindfold the person who wants to show what is happening,” said Armestre, 42, who was merely reporting the event.
After breaking into the Iberdrola-run plant – which produces 5% of the country’s electricity – they painted ‘Nuclear danger’ in giant letters on a cooling tower.
Prosecutors allege that one of the guards was injured by an electric saw used to break into the plant, in clashes with the activists, while the second received head injuries.
The defendants, however, insist the guard was injured by the barbed wire fence, not by a saw.
A three-year sentence would be the toughest penalty ever handed to a Greenpeace activist in Spain.
Greenpeace’s defence insists that Spain’s constitution grants citzens the right to protect the environment.