Acquitted the man who painted the tombstone of Francisco Franco in the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen



The First Section of the Provincial Court of Madrid has acquitted Enrique Tenreiro of crimes against freedom of conscience and acts of desecration and damage to the grave of which he was accused by painting on the tombstone of Francisco Franco in the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen, on October 31, 2018, a dove of peace with the text “for freedom”, while exposing aloud, after making the painting, that he carried out such an act “for the reconciliation of the Spaniards. The Prosecutor requested a year in prison.

The magistrates consider that he should be acquitted of the crime against freedom of conscience, for which the Public Ministry requested one year in prison and the Association for the Defense of the Valley of the Fallen together with the damage to the grave two years in prison, at understand that the artist Enrique Tenreiro performed the act of painting the dove of peace when mass had not yet begun, “of which – the resolution points out – he said he had no knowledge.”

And this fact is essential for the judges, because the law requires that in order to punish someone for a crime against religious sentiments, they must conduct themselves with “violence, threat, tumult or de facto means, preventing, interrupting or disturbing the acts, functions or ceremonies », which in the case at hand «has not been proven after any of the statements made by the witnesses in the oral hearing of the trial».

“It is evident -clarifies the resolution, which is attached as an attachment-, that the actions of the accused cannot be compared to these behaviors: first, he had not started the mass, second, he acted alone and quickly and the slogans launched in some went against the religious beliefs of those who could be present there ».

And he adds: «In turn, there is no record of the purpose or intention of injuring freedom of conscience and religious sentiments. Such lack of intention is revealed at the very moment of making the graffiti, as can be seen in the video recorded at that moment, in which it refers to the freedom and reconciliation of the Spaniards. To this is added – the magistrates state – that he did not enter any church or place of worship, but the basilica where Franco’s tomb was located and it is clear that he went against his presence in the place and not against religious sentiments of those who attended.

In relation to the second of the delios, desecration and damage to the tomb, of which he was only accused by the Association for the Defense of the Valley of the Fallen, it should be remembered that this crime is committed by those who “disrespecting the memory of the dead, violate sepulchres or tombs, desecrate a corpse or its ashes or, with a spirit of outrage, destroy, alter or damage funerary urns, pantheons, tombstones or niches.

The magistrates conclude that in view of the circumstances that concur in this matter, “it is not appreciated that there has been a desecration or violation of Franco’s tomb with the intention of disrespecting the dead, and for this it must be based on the fact that it is a figure with a career as head of state and the purpose of the accused was not to vilify his person as such, but to express an idea about his presence in the place, without concurring a spirit of outrage”, with “damages that are reduced to aesthetic affectation and that can be recovered with a simple cleaning».

The sentence, which has a particular vote in the sense of convicting the accused for both crimes, can be appealed before the Civil and Criminal Chamber of the Madrid TSJ.

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