The Supreme Court has decided that 20 complaints and 30 complaints filed in recent months by different unions, associations, professional organizations in the field of health and the Security Forces, relatives of victims of the coronavirus and a political party ( Vox) against the Government for its management during the Covid crisis, considering whate the responsibility of the punishable acts attributed to the members of the Executive is not duly justified.
However, agrees to deduce testimony from those complaints and complaints and forward them to the Senior Court of the Courts of Madrid so that the corresponding criminal cases may be initiated, or are added to those that are already being or have been subject to processing. In particular, as the order explains, those investigations by ordinary courts they should influence deaths in nursing homes, the eventual omission of the security measures that were provided to health professionals or police, and a possible misuse of public funds in hiring of failed or fraudulent materials to combat the pandemic.
The magistrates point out that when the proceedings carried out by those courts show the existence of indications of responsibility against some graded person, it will be the moment for the investigating judge, in their case, to present a reasoned exposition about them to the Supreme Court. The ball would thus return to your court. Thus, the High Court sees scope to investigate and is not in favor of closing the case with a stroke of the pen, as the Prosecutor’s Office intended in the brief in which on September 15 it dispatched this question, requesting the flat file of all the complaints. In a report signed by the recently retired Supreme Prosecutor, Luis Navajas, the Public Ministry asked the Supreme Court not to admit to processing any of the complaints filed by individuals, associations and parties for crimes of homicide, injuries, prevarication, omission of the duty to help, against the rights of workers, among others.
In the order of the Admission Chamber, of which Manuel Marchena has been the speaker, it is specified that the examination of the facts analyzed by the magistrates It is limited exclusively to the facts imputed to the graded before that Second Chamber: the president of the Government, the vice presidents and the rest of the ministers, the magistrates of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman, and the president of the Community of Madrid. The Supreme Court, he says, is not the body ordinarily called upon to investigate criminal acts, but only exceptionally to those who are registered, so as not to subtract research from its natural primary environment.
The car analyzes in detail each one of the crimes attributed in the complaints and reportssuch as reckless homicide and injury; crime against workers’ rights; prevarication and embezzlement of public funds. Among the events denounced, it was highlighted that massive concentrations and demonstrations such as the one on March 8 had been allowed days before the declaration of the state of alarm, and that health professionals or the State Security forces had not been provided with adequate protection.
The magistrates warn that the legal-criminal qualification of a fact “cannot be made dependent on collective indignation by the tragedy in which we are still immersed, nor by the legitimate disagreement with government decisions that can be considered wrong ”. And it also clarifies that “A resolution of file agreed by this Chamber does not sanctify erroneous actions and of serious social consequences, although they have no criminal relevance ”. “It is only up to us to examine,” he says, “the possible existence of criminal responsibility and determine whether the complaints made contain sufficient elements to conclude, at least incidentally, that the persons surveyed could have engaged in any conduct classified by law as a crime (… Not all socially reprehensible conduct is part of a criminal precept “.
In relation to the crimes accused of the graduates in general, the Chamber recalls that criminal responsibility is strictly personal and the imputation can be especially complex when the alleged criminal action takes place within the framework of an organization or a complex and hierarchical structure, as is the case in the present case, in which practically all of the defendants form part of an administrative or jurisdictional structure.
“This complexity does not exempt, of course, from making the authorship judgment when it is thus proven. But, In no case, may it lead to objective attributions of responsibility for the mere fact of the position or position that a specific person holds in the organization, no matter how high it is. If we did so, we would flagrantly violate the principle of guilt, ”he says.
Homicide: cause and effect
Several of the complaints and denunciations accuse the President of the Government, vice presidents and ministers of crimes of homicide and injuries due to serious negligence, based on inaction and mismanagement in the face of COVID-19 that would have caused, according to the complainants, a large number of deaths and injuries . For the Supreme Court, this causal relationship “cannot be constructed in fuzzy generic terms.”
“To consider the defendants responsible for a crime of homicide or reckless injury, it would not be enough to prove that information from international organizations was withheld and that these technical-health reports were already available by the Government. It would not even be enough to show that the failure to adopt measures to avoid mass agglomerations could increase the number of infections “. The investigation of such concealment behaviors could only be subject to criminal proceedings, he says, “if there is a possibility of demonstrating that there was a precise causal relationship between that misinformation and the harmful or fatal result.”
It highlights that the statement that one or another member of the Government is the author of as many crimes of homicide or injuries as victims have occurred in the pandemic “It would require proving in medical terms that the contagion that triggered the damage in each and every one of the victims had its immediate origin in decisions or omissions governments that precipitated the fatal outcome. “However,” the current state of medicine it does not allow to proclaim that causal link between the action or omission of the Government and the place or time of a contagion “.
Death or injury individually
Thus, to uphold the authorship of any of the defendants for the deaths or serious consequences suffered by the victims, the Supreme Court says that it would be necessary to show that if no information had been hidden or the political decision of confinement had been anticipated, the proceedings would have been prevented. damage. “And from the legal-criminal categories that this Chamber is obliged to consider, it is not enough for us to verify in empirical terms that decisions of this nature could have reduced the dramatic statistics that are defining the tragedy. The imputation of homicidal or harmful acts cannot be constructed in statistical terms, but strictly probatory, linked to the death or injuries suffered by each one of the victims ”.
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