Constitutional Court suspends prison sentences of far-right assailants
Right-wing extremists who attacked Catalan national day celebration in Madrid remain free while judges consider appeal
Spain’s Constitutional Court is to suspend the prison sentences imposed by the Supreme Court on the right-wing extremists who violently assaulted the Blanquerna cultural centre in Madrid on September 11, 2013, during an event marking Catalonia’s national day.
The aggressors, who had been given prison sentences of four years by a Madrid court, had already got the National Court and the Supreme Court to defer their entry into prison. The Constitutional Court has now upheld the suspension while their appeals are processed.
The judges argue it is common practice for the court to suspend prison sentences under appeal if they are for less than five years. The suspension will remain effective until the appeals have been resolved, which the judges pledged to do “in the shortest time possible.”
The 14 assailants were originally sentenced to almost three years for public disorder offenses, and given an extra six months for ideological discrimination. A 13-month sentence was added for the material damage they caused during the attack on the cultural centre.
The extremists forced their way into the centre on September 11, 2013 during a celebration of Catalonia’s national day. They carried Spanish flags and chanted “Catalonia is Spain”. The Catalan government’s representative to Madrid at the time, Josep María Bosch Bessa, and CiU party member, Josep Sánchez Llibre, were physically assaulted.