Spanish supreme court president backs 'shoot to kill'

27th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 July 2005, MADRID – Spain's supreme court president has come under fire for backing the UK's 'shoot to kill' policy to fight terrorism.

27 July 2005

MADRID – Spain's supreme court president has come under fire for backing the UK's 'shoot to kill' policy to fight terrorism.

The British police were criticised for shooting dead an innocent Brazilian last Friday, whom they thought was a suicide bomber.

Scotland Yard apologised for his death but said it was sometimes necessary to shoot terrorist suspects, if there was a chance they were suicide bombers.

On Tuesday, Francisco José Hernando, who heads the supreme court as well as the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), announced he approved of the British stance.

Speaking to a summer school at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Hernando said: "I've said it many times: we are facing World War Three, which is the war against terrorism, and in a war there are extreme situations created and I am naturally against the death penalty.

"However, when the risk you are trying to avoid is great or could produce the deaths of innocent people, it seems appropriate to avoid that risk."

On Wednesday, Hernando's remarks brought widespread criticism from Spain's political parties, even as Zapatero visited Tony Blair. At a press conference in London with the British prime minister, Zapatero said he did not back the 'shoot to kill' policy.

The secretary of the socialist group, Diego Lopez Garrido, described Hernando's remarks as "inadmissible" and said it wasn't fitting for a man who is the head of the CGPJ to become "the champion of shooting in the head".

The United Left party called for disciplinary action against Hernando, claiming his message was outside the principles of a state of law.

The nationalist Basque party, the PNV, also said Hernando should resign from the CGPJ. He was also criticised by the Catalan party, the ERC.

Judicial groups like Jueces para la Democracia – Judges for democracy – and Francisco de Vitoria also announced they did not support their colleague's position.

Later on Wednesday, even members of the CGPJ described their "horror and embarrassment" at Hernando's words.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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