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13/02/2009Two fined for torching effigy of Spanish king
The two men were fined for setting fire to an effigy of King Juan Carlos during a demonstration by separatists.
One of the men was fined EUR 2,700 and the other EUR 1,800 for causing "insult to the crown", according to the text of the ruling.
One of the men had brought an effigy of King Juan Carlos wearing a military uniform to a separatist demonstration in the town of Vigo in December 2007. The other, his face masked, set fire to it.
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. But separatists see him as a symbol of a centralised Spain.
Under Spanish law those found guilty of insulting the royal family face up to two years in prison or a heavy fine.
In November 2007, two Catalan nationalists were fined EUR 2,700 each for burning photographs of the king and his wife, Queen Sofia, at a rally.
The same month, 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.
But a court last December dropped all charges against the three authors of a caricature depicting the king on a hunting trip in Russia where he allegedly shot dead a drunken circus bear.
[AFP / Expatica]
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