Friday, December 3

Marlaska insists on defending the third degree to the murderer of Lardero




“Miserable, unworthy, despicable or ignorant” are some of the qualifiers that the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has used this afternoon in Congress to respond to PP and Vox about the third degree granted by Penitentiary Institutions to Francisco Javier Almeida, alleged perpetrator of the crime of Álex, the nine-year-old boy murdered on October 28 in Lardero (La Rioja).

Visibly annoyed and uncomfortable, Marlaska has responded to several questions and interpellations from the two main opposition groups, who requested his resignation due to the third degree granted by Penitentiary Institutions – an organization that depends directly on the minister himself – Against the majority opinion of the Treatment Board of the Dueso prison

(Cantabria), in which this individual was serving a sentence for murdering and raping a woman in 1998.

That third degree allowed Almeida to go on probation in April of last year until two weeks ago he was arrested and charged with murdering little Alex. The minister discharged responsibility on the prison surveillance judge who granted him conditional release and on the Prosecutor’s Office, which did not object. That was his nail burning: to reiterate that his department only granted the third degree and also in the most restrictive modality, while “Parole is authorized by the judge and endorsed by the prosecutor”.

PP and Vox reminded him that Almeida could access that measure of grace because before Penitentiary Institutions had recognized the third degree, without which no judge can grant conditional. And again Marlaska insisted that the third degree “is not the same” as probation, the responsibility of which he continued to assign to judges and prosecutors.

The Interior Minister had time for some arrogant tics: first he told the popular deputy Javier Merino, a resident of Lardero, that «I can give you all the lessons because I have been a prison surveillance judge and I know what I am talking about ”, although shortly after he boasted that «I don’t have time to teach today of Procedural Law ». However, he did have it to talk about the ‘Prestige’, the Iraq War and even the pending renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ).

They ask for his resignation

The PP Interior spokesperson, Ana Vázquez, reproached him that “the citizens do not understand how that man got parole because you granted him the third degree” that had been denied to Almeida on two previous occasions. “You should have resigned by now,” Vázquez snapped at a Marlaska “who has gone from prison judge to release minister”.

The PP denounces that the turn that the Government has given to the penitentiary policy to favor ETA prisoners is also benefiting other criminals to whom it has to grant the same measures to avoid grievances. This is what the popular deputy defined as “the politics of goodness in prisons.”

Also very forceful was the deputy spokesperson of Vox, Macarena Olona, ​​who asked the minister why he did not go to offer condolences to the family of little Alex despite the fact that three days after the murder he participated in a rally of his party in Logroño, just five kilometers from the town where the murder occurred. Marlaska replied that he did not do so “out of respect for the pain” and after “assessing the circumstances of the situation.”

Olona recalled that his party is in favor of expanding the permanent prison that can be reviewed for more crimes and “The only one” who defends the introduction of life imprisonment in Spain “For the most heinous criminals.” He regretted that this government “applies a sectarian ideology to prison policy” that translates into “excessive releases of prisoners.”

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