Despite sins of omission and commission, the conductor of the Santiago train won't be 'imputed' the way the driver has been. The investigating judge ruled yesterday that he won't hold the conductor criminally responsible for the crash, notwithstanding his call to the driver 2 minutes before the accident happened. The driver, therefore, is being held solely responsible.
By the way, in the Spanish criminal system someone suspected of a crime proceeds from being imputado to procesado and then arestado, assuming the investigating judge finds sufficient evidence to justify arrest and trial. I believe the train driver is still an imputado. As such he has certain rights, including:-
- The right to stay silent.
- The right to have a lawyer
- The right to be presumed innocent.
- The right not to incriminate him/herself.
- The right not to confess guilt.
- The right to lie.
The conductor who made the call which distracted the driver is not an imputado but an atestado, or witness. Even though, in this capacity, he lied to the judge earlier this week, it doesn't look as if any action will be taken against him for this, perhaps because he was not on oath. Again, expert clarification would be welcome. My understanding is that an atestado does not have the same right to lie as an imputado.
One of the positive aspects of the horrendous crash - perhaps the only one - was the speed with which those living close to it rushed to help the trapped passengers who'd survived, climbing down onto the rails and breaking windows to get them out. I couldn't help wondering whether in the UK they'd have been stopped from doing this by the need for Health & Safety to make a risk assessment. Before deciding that only the official rescue services could be involved.
Moving away from this subject . . . We all by now know of the airport at Castellón built at vast expense but which has never seen a plane or a passenger. Indeed, if you watched Top Gear a couple of weeks ago, you'll even have seen it. Unsurprisingly, it has no income. On the other hand it does have expenditure and for this year the budget for this was a mere 17.1m euros. If anyone has any idea where this money goes, I'm sure many of us would appreciate being told.
Finally . . . I last mentioned The Economist a month ago, when I reported that 3 issues had arrived at the same time, all of them late. Not to be outdone by July, the 1st of August brought 4 issues, all in the same mail and all of them late. You'd have thought a modern developed state would be able to maintain a decent postal service during the summer months but this is clearly beyond the Correos.