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The attorney general proposes community work for crimes “of expression”

The state attorney general, Dolores Delgado, has advanced this Tuesday in the Senate a proposal to assess in what cases the so-called « expression » crimes would not carry prison sentences. In his appearance before the Justice Commission, Delgado has pointed out the possibility that these crimes, such as the glorification of terrorism, could be punished with work for the benefit of the community when there is an express acceptance of the victims. In other words, a voluntary act of forgiveness on the part of the convicted person.

It is the first time that the attorney general has pronounced on the initiative launched by the Government to cushion criticism and the growing discomfort that the imprisonment of rapper Pablo Hasel has generated. In essence, the Ministry of Justice is studying the possibility of reforming the « most controversial » crimes: such as the glorification of terrorism and humiliation of victims when committed for reasons of opinion, the crime of hate, insults and slander against the Crown and other institutions and the crime against religious feelings.

Ministerial sources then explained that the reform is justified because « these criminal offenses suffer » from several conditions. «A certain lack of definition of the protected legal asset; the breadth of the typical behavior described in the rule, which generates insecurity; and the difficult delimitation between the exercise of the fundamental right and criminal conduct, which requires a restrictive interpretation « .

All these issues are « precision and restriction » requirements of these crimes required by the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights and European Law. The proposal put forward by the department headed by Juan Carlos Campo also contemplates that « those verbal excesses that are committed in the context of artistic, cultural or intellectual manifestations » remain « outside of criminal punishment. » In this sense, the Government has defended that “criminal law is neither the most useful tool, nor is it necessary, nor is it certainly proportionate to respond to behaviors that, even though it may border on illegality, its punishment would be a discouragement for the freedom of expression ».

Delgado appears in the Senate to present the memory of the Public Ministry. The attorney general is once again in the pillory for her relationship with the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, in preventive detention since November 2017, according to the summary of the ‘Tandem operation’. In addition, this Monday the letter sent to his department by the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, José Ramón Noreña, to express his discrepancy with the appointment of the Supreme Court prosecutor Javier Zaragoza as reinforcement for the Campo de Gibraltar . In his view, this decision is « illegal and inadmissible ».