The Justice confirms that the Francos do not form a special protection group and dismisses their appeal for a protest in Meirás in 2017

The Second Section of the Provincial Court of A Coruña has confirmed the filing of the complaint filed by the Franco Foundation and other relatives of the dictator against the group of activists called ’19 de Meirás’ -17 were investigated-, who displayed banners in a protest in 2017 in which they requested the recovery for public ownership of the pazo located in Sada (A Coruña). Thus, in the order that dismisses the appeals, it maintains that it cannot be considered that there was a search, nor can the Franco be considered a special protection group protected by law.

Feijóo assumed the theses of the Franco and ordered three years ago to vote against the return of the Pazo de Meirás to the State

Feijóo assumed the theses of the Franco and ordered three years ago to vote against the return of the Pazo de Meirás to the State

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Among the participants in that protest were several BNG leaders, among them, the deputy in Congress, Néstor Rego. In the action, the activists unfurled a large skirt on which they could read ‘O Pazo é do Pobo Galego’ –the pazo belongs to the Galician people–, as well as ‘Franquismo, never again’ –Francoism, never again- – and a flag of Galicia with the red star.

The Court of A Coruña has dismissed the appeals presented by the Francisco Franco National Foundation and other relatives of the dictator against the decision of the Mixed Court number two of Betanzos that closed the case opened by the protest, dismissal that is confirmed.

no hate crime

The foundation and the Franco family tried to defend that the defendants had committed a hate crime, but the court understands that it cannot exist due to the fact of “climbing one of the superb towers of the Pazo de Meirás and displaying a banner claiming public ownership of that Asset of Cultural Interest in a converging social context of claim by the citizens”.

The magistrates understand that the Franco family cannot be considered to meet the requirements of being part of any group to which the law recognizes special protection. The crime of trespassing is also ruled out, since it cannot “predicate the existence of privacy reserved for potential residents in the areas of passage inside the pazo”, since at the time of the protest, the property was in hours opening to guided tours.

The Chamber also does not believe that the conditions required by jurisprudence are met to consider that the people who led the protest act had committed a crime of damages.

August 2017

The events date back to the morning of August 30, 2017, when this group of people accessed both the estate, the interior of the Pazo and its roof, after climbing the perimeter walls of the property.

According to the statement that the Civil Guard of Sada drew up that day, one of the groups remained in the garden of the Pazo, some of them climbed to the balustrades, with banners that read ‘Give us back or robbed. Francoism never again’. The other went up to the roof of the tower, where they unfurled a vertical banner across the façade of the Pazo with the motto ‘O Pazo é do Pobo Galego. Francoism never again’.

In her resolution, the first instance magistrate of Betanzos considers that “responsibility cannot be attributed to each and every one of the interveners, in a generic, individualized or discriminated way”, since it cannot be determined “in any of the investigated” damage to the roof and walls of the property.

The court based the resolution on the arguments of the Supreme Court, which also declared in March 2021 the archive of the proceedings followed, due to his status as a taxpayer, against Néstor Rego himself. The high court then considered that there was no hate crime nor a crime of trespassing, since the complainants “are not a minority group that requires special protection.” In addition, he stressed that during the access a guided tour was taking place in the pazo.

In the same way, the Supreme Court understood that the action of each person involved in the act in which the damage to the roof and walls of the Meirás mansion occurred “cannot be individualized”, while stressing that “the intention is not proven willful and joint on the part of the participants in the claim to reach an agreement to produce said damages”.

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