Spanish mayor fined EUR 6,800 for insulting king

3rd June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The mayor of Puerto Real in the Andalucia region called King Juan Carlos "corrupt" and the "son of a scoundrel”.

Madrid – The leftist mayor of a town in southern Spain was fined EUR 6,840 on Tuesday for accusing King Juan Carlos of being "corrupt" and the "son of a scoundrel".

The judge said the comments by Jose Antonio Barroso, the mayor of Puerto Real in the Andalucia region, constituted a "personal insult" rather than just a political opinion that any citizen has the right to express.

The fine was less than the EUR 10,800 called for by the prosecution.

Barroso, a member of the leftist IU coalition, made the comments on the king during a speech in April 2008 to commemorate the founding of the second Spanish republic of 1931-39.

Under Spanish law, those found guilty of insulting the royal family face up to two years in prison or a heavy fine.

Last February, a court fined two men for torching an effigy of the king during a demonstration by separatists in the northwestern region of Galicia.

In November 2007, a court convicted two cartoonists of defaming the royal family by publishing a caricature on the cover of a satirical weekly depicting Crown Prince Felipe having sex with his wife. They were fined EUR 3,000.

King Juan Carlos enjoys widespread popularity and is credited with helping to strengthen democracy following the death of right-wing dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

AFP / Expatica

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