1. Brigadista says

    The full judgement is here (in Spanish):

    To summarise, Javier Krahe and his co-accused, Montserrat Fernandez Villa (the producer of the 2004 documentary in which Krahe’s 1977 film was shown) were acquitted of the charge of offending religious sentiments under Article 525 of the Spanish Criminal Code. The complaint had been filed by two private individuals, Victor Lozano Martinez and Nicolas de Salas Moreno, and not by the Thomas More Centre for Legal Studies, as was often stated. The confusion arose because Lozano is the Centre’s President and apparently submitted documents to the court on its headed paper (Legal Argument One, point 1). However, I see from its website today that the Centre itself is seeking donations to support an appeal.

    The public prosecutor, also a party to the action, moved for the defendants’ acquittal on the grounds that there had been no criminal offence.

    The judge’s arguments basically show how difficult it will always be to make any kind of charge like this stick, and he talks a lot about objectivity, assessment of intent and the lack of any proof of a desire to offend. He also talks about artistic creativity and satire and how they are frequently used as a way of criticising authority, particularly religion and the institution of the church which, as he puts it, “have historically been associated with power [in Spain] and therefore also been the subject of legitimate criticism” (Legal Argument Three, point 4).

    Article 525 is clearly an absurd anachronism, though it is an even-handed one in that it enshrines the same rights for non-believers. Nevertheless, it has to be seen in the context of a country that has, since 1976, been desperate in its attempts to please all sides in order to avoid a return to the events of the 1930s. This may seem an exaggeration to outsiders, but there are some very extreme elements still bubbling under the surface here, as has become clear in issues as diverse as bull-fighting, gay marriage, opening up mass graves and the languages children should be taught in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *