AN ‘historic’ Spanish Supreme Court ruling has confirmed that Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo is not a drug smuggler or money launderer.
In a case that will ‘set a precedent’ for future cross-border cases, the Madrid court backed a Gibraltar Court ruling that Manos Limpias union leader Miguel Bernad must pay Picardo £30,000 in compensation following the defamatory comments made in front of the European Commision.
A total of £1,500 will now be seized from Bernad’s pension for describing Picardo as ‘an accomplice, collaborator and co-operator in smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering’, in 2013.
Leading Gibraltarian lawyer Charles Gomez believes that this ‘high-profile’ ruling will send a message out to Spaniards who think they are beyond the reach of Gibraltar’s courts.
“Until now there was an urban legend in Spain that rulings in Gibraltar would not be enforced in Spain,” he told the Olive Press.
“This high-profile decision will no doubt cause concern in some sectors where Spanish residents thought that they were beyond the reach of the Gibraltar courts.”
Bernad, 74, currently remains in prison awaiting trial for charges of extortion, being part of a criminal organization, fraud and forgery.
Picardo has always said that he will donate damages to a Gibraltar charity.