Spain will be served 15 claims in cases of crimes of the Franco regime

© RIA Novosti / Maria to Liberalmarathi in fotoracconti city and the Christopher Columbus monument in Barcelona. Archival photoSpain will be served 15 claims in cases of crimes of the Franco regime© RIA Novosti / Maria to Liberalmarathi the image Bank

Fifteen lawsuits in cases of crimes committed during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975) will be filed soon in Spain.

For the first time, claims will be submitted by private persons, who have suffered from crimes of the Franco regime. Until now, such cases require only public organization or mayor Spanish cities.

The first lawsuit

The first was the claim by a former member of the «Revolutionary Communist League», the party of the Trotskyist wing, Luis Suarez-carreño, (Luis Suárez-Carreño). This man twice in 1970 and 1973 — was in prison of the secret police «of the Socio-political brigade,» where they were subjected to torture. As the defendant speaks one of the most famous «executioners» of the Franco regime, Antonio gonzález Pacheco, better known as «Billy El niño», as well as two members of the team – Manuel gómez Sandoval and Thomas Nieto Berrocal.

«Feeding this lawsuit, we want to end impunity of crimes related to violation of human rights in Spain, which is absolutely unacceptable for the rule of law,» — said at a press conference Jacinto Lara Bonilla, President of the Association for human rights in Spain (APDH), which supported the claim of Suarez-carreño.

As explained by RIA Novosti, another lawyer involved in the case, Manuel Olle, the fact of torture can be proved – there are documents about the arrests, and the testimony of the victim and witnesses. «There is evidence, in what condition he (Suarez-Carreno – ed.) was and how were torture,» he explained.

According to the lawyer, witnesses in prison, «heard screams and saw the wounds.» Attached to the suit 170-page conclusion of the four historians, which refers to «the systematic attacks against the civilian population» from 1970 to 1973. This proves, according to the plaintiffs, the fact of committing crimes against humanity.

The lawyers insist that the Spanish court is obliged to satisfy this claim and to recognize acts committed as a crime against humanity – primarily due to the fact that Spain’s national court in 2014 rejected the request of Argentina for the extradition of Billy El niño.

«It is a principle of international criminal law: if you deny the extradition of a person for an international crime such as crime against humanity, a state that denies the extradition, is obliged to judge this person,» said Olle.

Obstacle for satisfaction of the claim may be the Amnesty Law, passed in 1977, two years after Franco’s death, in the midst of transition from dictatorship to democracy. However, according to counsel, the law «from a technical point of view is invalid» as contrary to «the international obligations of Spain, guaranteed by a number of treaties».

«None of the people injured during the Franco regime, did not restore justice through the Spanish justice, no one responsible has been punished. Our actions are aimed against the monstrous impunity against the crimes against human rights,» the lawyer added.


As stated by the Luis Suarez-carreño, such claims «will destroy the wall of impunity, concrete roofs, which were built during the construction of the so-called regime of 1978». «We will have imperfect democracy until, until we achieve justice. Only then our country can begin to restore their dignity,» he said.

Suarez-carreño, was in prison twice. The first time he was accused that he has a «Communist documents», the second time — that he heads the «Revolutionary Communist League» – frankists turned him one of his comrades.

«I was subjected to physical and psychological torture,» — said at a press conference, Suarez-carreño. According to him, the security police beat him, threatened to kill his wife, was sent to a camera located next to the rooms where other prisoners were tortured — because of the constant screams, he could not sleep. Despite the heat, he was forced to dress up in winter clothes, he didn’t know what time of day: the camera did not penetrate the sun.

«Everything was the same for people who passed through the General Directorate of security. Systematic torture became routine, and not always the goal was to obtain information – it was common practice in against people who disagreed with the regime», — he added, noting that over 40 years after Franco’s death «tried to hide these facts.» «Many of the victims of Billy El Nino will not be able to restore justice,» said a former prisoner.

Billy El Niño

Billy El Nino was the second person in the «Socio-political brigade» and was known for particularly harsh treatment of prisoners. In 1974, a year before Franco’s death, the court sentenced him to pay a fine for acts of violence against the journalist Paco Lobaton.

In addition, he was suspected of involvement in the death of Enrique Ruano, a student in 1969. In 1977, during the transitional period from dictatorship to democracy, he became the inspector of the Higher police. At this time Gonzalez Pacheco was investigating the terrorist activities of the Spanish leftist organization GRAPO («Groups of Patriotic antifascist resistance first of October»), in particular with the release of the Chairman of the State Council, Antonio Maria de Oriol, who was taken hostage by the organization. In June 1977 Billy El Nino was awarded the medal for police merit.

Since 1981, gonzález Pacheco began working in the General Commissariat of the judicial police, in 1982, retired from the police force. He headed security service of a number of private enterprises, in particular the representation of Renault in Spain.

18 Sep 2013 the Argentine judge Maria Servini issued an international warrant for search and arrest of Billy El niño and four former members of the security forces of the Franco era dictatorship. They were accused of committing crimes against 13 people between 1971 and 1975. In April 2014, the national court of Spain has rejected the petition of extradition.

The Spanish law On Amnesty of 1977 does not allow criminal prosecution for crimes committed during the Civil war in Spain (1936-1939) and during the reign of Franco from 1939 to 1975.