Friday, August 02, 2013

Corruption; Lying to the judge; Empty airports; Summer mail.

Well, Sr Rajoy, the Spanish President, came to parliament yesterday and said everything it was feared he'd say and nothing of what many wanted him to say. Essentially, he'd done nothing wrong except trust and support one of his party members who turned out to be a crook. And he wasn't going to resign or call a general election. One of the smaller party leaders called him a liar and wasn't reprimanded, unlike another who labelled him corrupt. A third tabled 20 questions, none of which were answered during Sr Rajoy's discourse or his responses. The Opposition PSOE party was, predictably, unsatisfied with his performance and reserved its right to call for a vote of censure. But everyone went off on holiday yesterday so this could be some time coming. If ever.

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.
I suspect this last one falls out of the two before it but am not sure. Comments/ corrections are welcome.

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.


Ferrolano said...

Colin, I have no idea where the 17.1m euros goes each year, but you could start by asking Sr. Luis Barcenas…….

As for the delivery of your Economist magazine, it is probably handled by a bulk delivery service before it gets to Correos and you could start by asking them for an accounting of their handling. I’m not defending Correos, but applying a presumption of innocence before being proven to be guilty.

Perry said...


Ask & ye shall receive. During January 2012 it emerged that 30 million euros had been spent on publicity for Castellon airport despite the fact that it had failed to secure permits to receive air traffic.

Is Sr Rajoy held in less regard than Obama?



Anonymous said...

Colin, Thank you for your definitions of imputado, procesado and arestado.

But I am still puzzled, where does acusado fit in?

I understood from the lavengro link I supplied yesterday that it stood for an accused defendant. But you make no mention of "acusado".

Since Francisco José Garzón Amo has been provisionally charged with multiple cases of reckless homicide, I would have thought he would now be a defendant, or "acusado"

But maybe I'm wrong and "acusado" is not one of the stepping stones to a prison cell?

You assert that "I believe the train driver is still an imputado" - On what basis? Unlike you to be so vague.

Help! Q1-10

Colin said...

Well, according to my lawyer friend, an imputado becomes acusado when the Prosecutor (Fiscal) presents his/her acusatory statement to the judge.

At the moment, the driver remains an imputado as the investigating judge has yet to complete the process and to decide (a racing certainty) that the driver should proceed to trial.

BTW - Someone who is being taken through the investigation by a judge is referred to as an imputado if the jail sentence is less than 9 years and as a procesado it it's more.

Sierra said...

I think the Top Gear airport was Ciudad Real Central airport rather than Castellon.

"It was the first international private airport in Spain, costing €1.1bn to build.In April 2012, the airport was closed after just three years in operation"

Whilst on the subject - the statistics for airports that are "open" are revealing:

Huesca - 223 passengers to date this year
Albacete - 649 ditto

Anonymous said...

I´ve lived, at different times, a total of 28 years in Spain - but just recently, I´ve started to ask myself "Why?". Wherever I´ve lived, I´ve taken an interest in politics and current affairs, but this has become depressing in Spain. The lies and corruption and the extent to which they are accepted are amazing. (Rajoy in Parliament last week put on an excellent performance - but hardly anyone believes him. Of course they don´t! The PP´s defence seems to hinge on "you can´t prove it and, anyway, the PSOE is worse.") Now we have the doings at the Gibraltar border, orchestrated by the deeply sinister foreign minister. There is no mention, of course, on the Spanish media of the question of whether the Spanish fishing fleet constantly breaks all the rules. The latest flare-up of trouble is probably due to the old banana-republic tactic - when in trouble at home, as the present Spanish government surely is, find a nice foreign diversion, something to stir up nationalism.

I´m obviously in a jaded mood today!

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