The Plenary of the Constitutional Court rejected this Tuesday by six votes against five the amparo appeal presented by the ETA member Igor Portu against the decision of the Supreme Court of refusing to review the conviction imposed for the T-4 attack after the Court European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Spain for violating article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment.

Portu appealed to the TC the decision of the Second Chamber of the High Court to reject the authorization to request a review of the sentence after the Strasbourg ruling.

According to legal sources reported to EL MUNDO, the court of guarantees, deeply divided, decided yesterday during the second deliberation of the sentence in plenary session to dismiss the ETA petition for protection by the minimum.

In favor of rejecting the protection were the magistrates of the conservative sector Pedro González-Trevijano (president), Antonio Narváez (speaker), Ricardo Enríquez, Santiago Martínez Vares, Enrique Arnaldo and Concepción Espejel. For their part, the magistrates of the progressive sector Cándido Conde-Pumpido, María Luisa Balaguer, were in favor of the partial estimation of the same and, consequently, of ordering the Supreme Court to annul its order and review the conviction of the T4 terrorist. , Juan Antonio Xiol, Ramón Sáez and Inmaculada Montalbán.

Legal sources consulted explain that the legal debate revolved around whether the Supreme Court should have reviewed the sentence against the ETA member after the ECHR ruling against Spain. These are two different legal procedures. The ETA members Igor Portu, Matin Sarasola and Mikel San Sebastián were sentenced by the National Court to more than 1,000 years in prison each for 2 completed crimes of terrorist murder, 48 attempted murders and havoc due to the attack on terminal T- 4 at Barajas airport on December 30, 2006.

For their part, the civil guards who participated in the arrest were convicted by the Guipúzcoa Court of torture, but were finally acquitted due to lack of evidence in the Supreme Court. However, in February 2018, the Strasbourg Court condemned Spain for violating the European Convention on Human Rights, although at no time did it state that the mistreatment suffered was intended for the ETA members to confess their terrorist action.

One of them, Sarasola, did so before the Civil Guard and later refused to ratify his statement in the oral trial phase.

Sources from the TC explain that the majority of the body has understood that there is no connection between Strasbourg’s condemnation of torture against Spain and the ruling of the National High Court since the “ECHR never said that the evidence obtained by the Civil Guard was illegal or that were destined to interfere in the testimony of the ETA”. In addition, the same sources emphasize that the ETA members never appealed the ruling of the Criminal Chamber of the Court for the T4 attack to invalidate any of the evidence collected by the court.

In contrast, the other sector of the TC does appreciate connection and, therefore, understands that the Supreme Court should not have ignored the ruling of the Strasbourg Court and, consequently, should have agreed to review the judgment of the High Court although, subsequently, that appeal for review did not prosper in the High Court.

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