Sunday, February 26, 2017

From Our Court Correspondent

What do you do with yourself, do you suppose, when you've been handed a 75 months sentence but been allowed to toddle off to Switzerland while the Spanish legal system winds its way along its slow course to a Supreme Court appeal to confirm that you should indeed proceed straight to jail without passing Go? Geneva, one guesses, isn't such a bad place to while away the months (or more) until our learned friends gather - not that I've been there for over 40 years, but it seemed ok back then. But how does one, as in Iñaki, spend one's time? Eating cheese and heading into the mountains to do some yodelling? Or does one get a job? It might be a tad awkward informing a prospective employer that you are likely to need a 75 months holiday at some point, but Iñaki isn't your ordinary prospective employee.

Perhaps he just has to accept the fact that the missus will be bringing in the bacon (and the cheese). And seemingly there is a fair amount of bacon to be brought in. More than half a million euros worth per annum, courtesy of the La Caixa Foundation and the Aga Khan Foundation, or so it appears. Given this, couldn't Iñaki, rather than telling the court he didn't have two hundred grand to his name to stump up for bail, have asked the wife to sub him? I mean, she's also due to be repaid a hefty wedge of what she lodged with the court as a civil liability bond thanks to the court having levied a far lower fine on her.

It's been, how can one put it, an interesting week for the legal system, top honours for which go to the court having decided that Manos Limpias should pay all the Infanta's costs. And quite right, too. Otherwise, there's the business with our good friend Valtonyc, the rapper who faces a rap of three and a half years for some deeply unpleasant things he rapped about the old king and others. Forty-two months for Valtonyc, seventy-five months for Iñaki. Hmm.

I'm certainly not defending what he rapped - promoting assassinations, supporting terrorism and what have you - but does this merit such a sentence? I have questioned whether he should have been in court at all, but then he - even as a mere 17-year-old, as he was - would have been familiar with the law which decrees it an offence to insult the crown. He would have known what he was doing, but even so - 42 months? It's not as if he had it away with a couple of million euros of Balearic government money, to say nothing of Valencia government moolah.

If he had to be in court, a guilty verdict should have condemned him to giving up a year's worth of royalties (assuming he gets any) and handing it over to charity, six months of community service picking up litter in the gardens at the Marivent royal palace and being branded - in public - a Spotty Herbert who should learn to behave himself. Instead, he's going to end up - in the eyes of some - as a martyr.

Then we have our even better friend, Balti of the Balearic parliament. Admittedly he's only copped for 601 euros - and again he would have been fully aware that resisting the Guardia Civil doesn't do you a great deal of good - but in his case I have to say I'm warming to him. Not for resisting - sorry, you can't do that - but for having protested against the bull-run. His fine is fair enough and so was (is) his cause.

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