Neo-nazi youths absolved of incitement to hatred as “ideas cannot be criminalised” whilst Catalan politicians face 30 years in jail

Criminal Court Number 2 of Valladolid issued an absolute ruling in the case of the six young neo-Nazis who in 2014 were detained in the capital by the Provincial Information Brigade of the National Police on charges of belonging to a criminal organisation and incitement to hatred against various groups and the spreading of xenophobic messages.

The bench was occupied by the young defendants, identified only as J.J.R, F.R.R, R.A.G, D.P.G, E.N.O. and O.P.L, for each of whom the prosecutor had applied for two years in prison and fines of €4,050 euros for a crime of incitement to hatred, as well as another nine months of deprivation of freedom for belonging to a criminal organisation, according to legal sources contacted by Europa Press.

In his allegation, the public prosecutor argued that the defendants were leaders of various organizations (Respuesta Estudiantil, Juventud Patriótica, Acción Nacional Revolucionaria, Frente Nacional y Social, Ultravioletas, Resistencia Nacional Valladolid), all extreme right wing organizations who used their different venues and assemblies to disseminate and promote anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-leftwing and centre political ideas, among their members.
On November 17th, 2014, the addresses of the defendants were raided, as well as at the headquarters of the Cultural and Sports Association ‘El Tomillar’, located on Calle Gregorio Fernández, formerly the bar ‘Arlequín’ , all of this in the course of an operation leading up to the ruling by Court Number 2.

At these addresses, five of them in Valladolid and one in Laguna de Duero, the police seized an abundance of neo-Nazi material, such as flags with pre-constitutional eagles, swastikas, flared crosses, T-shirts with the Ultrasur emblem, books such as “Mein Kampf” or ‘The Forbidden Thesis’, the Gottfriedad Feder nationalist program, Rudolf Hess’s books, Adolf Hitler flags, others with skulls, swastikas, and dangerous materials such as flares, knives and daggers.

However, three years and four months after that operation, the judge in the case ruled that it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt that “the accused” had undertaken, using the headquarters of the Cultural and Sports Association, the Tomillar, under the umbrella of recognized criminal organisations or political parties, the holding of events in order to obtain financing for the commission of acts to attract minors and publicize and promote among its members, publicly, the rejection to immigrants, anti-Semitic ideas, homophobia and opposing political positions, mainly those considered as leftist.

Neither was the judge able to argue that it was proven that the six young people took advantage of events such as presentations of books, a tributes Onésimo Redondo or supporter events for Real Valladolid FC, concerts or student demonstrations, nor that they intervened in any specific event which resulted in assaults to people belonging to the minority groups indicated above.

But in addition, the judge dedicated a lot of space in the ruling to the fact that “the rights to ideological freedom and freedom of expression allow, in the first instance, not only to assume any idea, but also to express it, and even disseminate it, and incorporate it into the development of one’s own life, always within the limits imposed by respectful coexistence and the rights of others”.

The Spanish Constitution, added the judge, “does not prohibit ideologies that are located at either end of the political spectrum, identified as left and right. It could even be said that it does not prohibit ideas that, due to their extremism, are outside of that broad political spectrum, however highly objectionable they might be considered from the perspective of constitutional values ​​and fundamental rights and public freedoms.

However, the magistrate added that tolerance for all kinds of ideas, imposed ideologically by the principle of freedom of expression, “does not mean condescension, acceptance or understanding, but only that ideas, as such, should not be prosecuted criminally.”



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