lunes, 4 de abril de 2011

Legal News: On March 10th, the Supreme Court will review the conviction for the sale of Nazi material in a bookstore in Barcelona

The Court of Barcelona imposed penalties of up to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment to four people accused of inciting the genocide of the Jewish people.
Next March 10th, the Supreme Court will review the 2009 ruling by the Provincial Court of Barcelona that sentenced up to three-and-a-half year´s of imprisonment to the four people responsible for their now vacated bookstore, Kalki, in Barcelona, and for a publishing company in Molins de Rei (Barcelona) for selling material with Nazi ideology.
The Court will consist of judges Adolfo Prego, Andrés Martínez Arrieta, Alberto Jorge Barreiro, Diego Ramos and Miguel Colmenero, who will be speaker of the resolution, according to sources from the High Court.
The ruling handed down in October 2009 by the Court of Barcelona considered it proven that, between January and July of 2003, through their bookstore (located on Argenter Street in the Sant Pere district) and through their website, the defendants sold all sorts of publications that justified and exalted the Nazi regimen and incited the genocide of the Jewish people.
According to the court, some of the books and magazines that were confiscated from the bookstore and the private homes of the defendants also incited the discrimination, exclusion, and elimination of various racial and social groups, while exalting and justifying totalitarian fascist regimes based on the supremacy of the Aryan race. Additionally, several documents ridicule or trivialize the Holocaust, which, for the judges, was equivalent to justifying it.
The sale of this type of book constitutes the continued crime of the dissemination of genocidal ideas and also of the violation of fundamental human rights and public liberties, as the Court of Barcelona reminded.
In particular, the court convicted Ramon B.F., president of the neo-Nazi “Círculo de Estudios Indoeuropeos (CEI)” (Indoeuropean Study Circle), to three-and-a-half years of prison and a 6,000 euro fine for the diffusion of genocidal ideas, the violation of human rights, and illegal association.
Likewise, the Court sentenced Oscar P.G., bookstore owner and leader of the CEI, with three-and-a-half-years imprisonment and a 3,600 euro fine for the same three crimes. Carlos G.S., leader of the CEI, was convicted of the three same offenses and sentenced to three years in prison and a 3,240 euro fine, while the fourth defendant, Antonio L.S., owner of the publishing company, was punished with two-and-a-half years of prison and 2,400 euros in fines for the diffusion of genocidal ideas and the violation of human rights.
The CEI, founded in Valencia in 1997 by Roman B.F., promoted this ideology. It had as its slogan: “Hermandad y Aria” (Aryan Brotherhood), and as its symbol, the initials of this slogan, H and A, which coincide with the initials of Adolf Hitler. Moreover, it required all of its members to dress in uniform, with brown shirts and pants and military boots, in addition to a bracelet with the symbol of the entity.
The leaders of the group aspired to be a type of “Estado Mayor” (General Staff), calling themselves “SS,” that could impose a fascist system anywhere in Europe even if though military means. The oath to belong to the paramilitary group promised eternal fidelity to Hitler and to his ideas.
Investigations began at the end of 2002 with the knowledge that the defendants were distributing this type of material through their bookstore and publishing company. The aforementioned bookstore sold books edited by the publishing company, and due to this, los Mossos (the Catalan Autonomous Police) discovered professional and commercial ties between the detained parties.
In the searches carried out in July 2003 and May 2004, the agents seized 10,000 books, videotapes, magazines, publications in other languages, “fanzines” and swatstikas. The majority of the publications were distributed within Europe, especially in France and Portugal, as well as in South America, primarily in Chile. The sentence ordered the confiscation of all of the materials.
Due to police pressure, in May 2005, the CEI dissolved and in November 2006, it gave 18,000 euros in accordance to the ruling in favor of the Comunidades Israelitas de Barcelona (Jewish Community of Barcelona), SOS Racismo, and Amical Mathausen, which appeared in court as popular accusers.
A similar case occurred with the Librería Europa (European Bookstore) in the Gràcia de Barcelona district, whose owner, Pedro Varela, was also convicted of justifying the Holocaust.

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