Madrid’s Supreme Court has dismissed the prosecution’s appeals and upheld the acquittal of Enrique Tenreiro, the artist who red-painted Franco’s tomb in the Valley of the Fallen in 2018. The verdict can still be brought to the Supreme Court by the Valle de los Caidos Defense Association after prosecutors changed their criteria and withdrew their appeal.
The TSJ of Madrid, as previously stated by the provincial court, says there is no evidence that its intention was “to attack the freedom of conscience or religious feelings” of the people who were in the basilica. Moreover, they understand that their actions “were not motivated by the malicious aim of preventing the celebration of Mass, that it did not even begin, and that, in any case, it was postponed for a few moments” and that, therefore, it was not forcibly interrupted.
The events took place on October 31, 2018, shortly before the mass that was to be celebrated in the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen, and a year before the exhumation of the dictator’s body. The artist used red paint to paint a dove on a tombstone reading “For Freedom”, shouting out the message: “For the reconciliation of the Spaniards,” he told people present at the Mass at the time.
First, the provincial court, in a special vote, made it clear in its proven facts that Tenreiro “had no intention of altering the religious assembly and that he limited himself to expressing his opinion on the presence of the corpse of a dictator in the Valley of the Fall.” Arguments have now been ratified by the Supreme Court: “There is no evidence or indications that the defendant’s intent or purpose was to violate freedom of conscience or religious sentiments,” the verdict states. On the contrary, he continues: “His action was not motivated by the malicious aim of preventing the celebration of a mass that had not even started.”
The prosecutor’s office withdrew the complaint.
The prosecutor’s office first appealed against the acquittal, although this verdict shows that it withdrew its appeal two weeks later. “It is interesting that he be withdrawn from the appeal filed,” says the ruling on the role of the public ministry, which before the court demanded a year in prison for Tenreiro for painting Franco’s grave, and also came to announce the appeal that it was later withdrawn. The judges studied, so the resource of the Association for the Defense of the Valley of the Fallen and the prosecutor’s office finally asked to confirm the acquittal.
The prosecutor’s office submitted its appeal, according to the verdict, on January 31 of this year, and on February 9 it was made public in the media. A resource that, according to a statement from the Madrid public ministry, was betting on his conviction for a crime against religious feelings: “It is clear that the defendant went beyond the way he manifested himself, violating the freedom of religion and worship without any need, well, could he will show his behavior in protest in any other place that is not a place of worship, ”the resource said.
Now this verdict shows that the appeal was withdrawn a few days later, on February 14, when he demanded that it be considered withdrawn and a change in strategy: the prosecutor’s office joined the defense of Tenreiro and demanded that the Association dismiss the appeal. who made the accusation.
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