Mr X, ( we protect the identity of our client for confidential reasons), of British nationality, was resident in Spain. His aim was to build a family home in Spain with which he had had connections since the early 1990’s.

In 200.. he was arrested by the local police while returning to his place after lunch. During his incarceration no translator was made available and he was only informed by an officer in broken English that he was arrested because he had supposedly breached or broke a restraining or injunction order from the UK court which forbade him from being in the vicinity of a Spanish national with whom he had had a relationship some 15 years earlier.

He had even been informed in official court documents that there was an injunction against him in England due to his conviction for maltreatment of that woman and that injunction had been extended to Spain.

The woman that reported our client brandished a photocopy of a document in front of the Spanish police, which was in English, without Spanish translation. In reality this document emanated from the registry of family affairs (family courts) in the UK and applied to the law for minors, this document was simply un undertaking which was already expired anyway. In fact the document related to the access right of our client regarding a close relative of the woman who had reported him.

Incredibly at one stage a three year prison sentence was being sought because he broke this (non existent) injunction. In summary, he was arrested for an injunction that never existed in England and therefore could not and should not have been extended to Spain.

Quite astonishingly and as an example of the cavalier manner in which Mr X had been treated, he was never advised that an injunction had been issued against him and he only learnt of its existence after his arrest. Just as astonishingly the Spanish Authorities never even bothered to check with the English Courts of the existence of any injunction against him or whether he had in fact ever been convicted of any crime; they simply took her word for it. No conviction or Injunction ever existed against him in England and indeed he had never even been tried for any such alleged offence. She also managed to convince the Spanish Authorities that he had followed her to Spain (from England). This is quite patently untrue because when he moved to Spain, he was building a new life with his new family and had had no connection with that woman for several years.

Under weight of false evidence i.e. the photocopy of the document used by this woman as proof of the offence reported to the Spanish police, the case was then passed to the Spanish special courts for the protection of women against abuse,(“Domestic violence Criminal Court”) in order to commence the criminal process, the woman was automatically granted extraordinary measures of protection against non existent abuse.

The Court in charge of carrying out the preliminary investigation commenced a criminal process, ignoring the convincing reasons that accredited the accusation to be false, despite the fact that, under the weight of the said document, neither its contents nor its origin ascertained that it was a genuine English restraining order. Gain, we stress the point that the document was simply an English order for visitation rights.

Unfortunately at that time, Mr X was not yet our client and he was badly advised by his former Solicitor, who didn’t properly fight for his client’s interests. As a result, an unfair fast 1 hour trial was conducted, which culminated in the unfair conviction of the accused of the serious offence of “threatening behaviour”. A grave offence that he didn’t commit.

However, the history doesn’t end here. Subsequently more false accusations and new penal court cases were made against Mr X.

However, no matter being all these invented accusations both absurd and impossible, each of them was accompanied again with precautionary restraining measures, but without demonstrating neither the existence of a crime, nor the danger of the defendant, and the proportionality of the measure.

Because of this and considering firstly the seriousness of the situation and secondly due to the surprising lack of concern showed by his former legal representative, Mr X contacted urgently this Law Practice with the objective of finding an effective defence strategy in face of the permanent continuing violation of his most fundamental human rights. In particular, the following fundamental rights, as recognized by the Spanish Constitution, English and European law were flagrantly violated, for instance: the right to a fair trial with all guarantees, the right of defence, the right to a fair judgement and trial, the right to an impartial judge, the right to equality for both sides, the right to obtain fair and reasonable judgments within the merits of the law, right to non discrimination on grounds of sex or race.

On the other hand, it is important to notice that none of the denuncias were never investigated nor ordered the police to investigate any of the facts alleged by the former partner and the court seemed hell bent on simply finding our client guilty unless he could disprove the allegations.

At this point, it was absolutely clear that unless immediate legal action would be taken, our client was going to be convicted again no matter that there was no evidence against him whatsoever. Therefore, our Law Firm has been engaged for the past few years in a fierce legal battle, as we were forced to lodge an appeal after appeal against all these arbitrary and unlawful decisions, in a very limited period of three days, and by matching those deadlines, sometimes, with the warm hearted religious Christmas festivities.

Nevertheless, even though we managed after a long and very difficult legal battle to obtain a satisfactory ending by stopping and filing all these crazy accusations, the result of the judicial hounding that was inflicted on our client is that he had to abandon his home, new wife and children and his work here in Spain and return to reside in England in order to undergo medical treatment, but with the same justified fear that the Court would order him to appear in court yet again and decide against him which would probable result in imprisonment.

His basic human right to a quiet peaceful family life were totally shattered. The stress he and his family were under at the time can only be guessed at.

In part II and III of this article, we will explore in more detail the legal aspects of the Spanish law of “Gender or domestic Violence” and his profound implications on Spanish nationals as well as Expatriates residing in Spain.

Mr. Ricor. Solicitor

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