The Xunta has presented the appeal before the Supreme Court against the sentence of the Provincial Court that ratifies that the pazo de Meirás is public but condemns the State to compensate the descendants of the dictator as holders of good faith for the useful (improvement) and necessary (conservation) expenses since 1975.
In its appeal, the Galician Government defends that the judges incurred in several legal infractions by not decreeing that Francisco Franco, his wife Carmen Polo (with whom he was married in a community property regime) and their daughter, Carmen Franco, were aware of the vices of possession. Claim to the Supreme Court to amend the ruling and establish the liquidation of possession in bad faith until December 29, 2017, date of the death of Carmen Franco. In other words, the Xunta understands that ignorance about the vices of the title could only be presumed to the grandchildren of the coup leader.
The Xunta alleges that “violates the most elementary rules of logic and reason“Not expressly declare the bad faith of the dictator and his daughter in the possession of the property, acquired in the midst of the civil war through costs in many cases forced and contributions from the different administrations.
The fact that the Court does not expressly declare Franco and his daughter possessors of bad faith, which on the contrary goes so far as to affirm that the dictator could not be aware of the irregularities in the acquisition and occupation of the pazo and attached farms, has its consequences at the legal level, as the Council of Sada warned from the beginning, which warned that it was the reason for establishing a liquidation of possession in concept of good faith retroactively since 1975 (That is, it entitles the heirs to receive compensation for useful and necessary expenses from that date without rendering accounts for the benefits obtained).
In its appeal, the Xunta begins by reasoning the reasons why it considers that the conclusions of the Hearing contradict the facts proven in the judgment regarding the alleged good faith of Franco and his wife. Remember that the judges of the Court themselves consider it proven that both were aware that the pazo had been acquired by the Junta Pro Pazo del Caudillo in 1938 and of the execution of various refurbishment works by the public administrations. It highlights that the ruling itself confirms that the dictator accepted the donation in 1938, promising in exchange works “in the four Galician provinces” and that three years later in 1941 he simulated a sale, without paying any price. The fact is that the judges themselves qualify as “total fantasy” that deed, which was granted before a notary “to create a fiction.”
“It is incoherent to recognize that Francisco Franco consciously held a null title, because it was absolutely simulated, and in turn declare that he could ignore that his title is negotiated,” argues the Xunta in its appeal, in which it emphasizes that the Court itself sees proven in the ruling that there was “a constant attempt by Don Francisco Franco to create the appearance of belonging to him [el pazo] in a personal capacity ”. “An owner who knows himself with legitimate title does not need to pretend anything, whoever tries to generate that appearance reveals the intention of hiding reality”, reasons the Galician Government, which affects the fact that the sentence also points out that at that time the “State was at the service” of Franco.
The Xunta alleges that this bad faith in the possession by Franco and his wife was transmitted to their daughter, Carmen Franco. Appeals to a judgment of the Supreme Court that concludes that bad faith is transmitted to the heirs of an asset, who would in any case present proof to the contrary. It affects the fact that Carmen Franco lived with her parents in the pazo, witnessed the donation, the conditioning and expansion work of the property and the farm by the public administrations and how the State assumed all the expenses during the dictatorship. It also highlights that, after the dictator died, the presence of public security means was maintained until 1990, an extreme that he considers “decisive” to refute the alleged ignorance on the part of the heir. Autonomous lawyers consider that it is “materially impossible” for Carmen Franco to ignore the entire process of acquisition and maintenance with public funds of the property and to ignore the nullity of the possession title, based on an alleged purchase by her father when “it constituted a fact it was obvious that the pazo had been given as a gift ”.
The Xunta does not enter into assessing in its appeal whether or not Franco’s grandchildren were ignorant of the vices of the possession title, but it seems to rule it out, by requesting the liquidation of possession in bad faith until the death of the dictator’s daughter in December 2017.
The Xunta challenges the decision of the Hearing
The State Bar and the co-plaintiff administrations will not only have to dismantle the conclusions of the Hearing regarding the good faith of Franco and his descendants, they will also have to adduce the reasons why they understand that, contrary to the judgment of the magistrates , the petition for the liquidation of possession in bad faith cannot be considered to be untimely. The State incorporated this petition in the processing of supplementary allegations and it was accepted by the judge of first instance, who interpreted the request as accessory, while the Provincial Court rejected it from the outset as being out of time when interpreting that it affected the main claim and that it generated “defenselessness” in the defendants.
The magistrates also argued that good faith had been recognized with the Xunta’s expert commission, although without mentioning that with the private vote of the Sada Council. Despite considering it untimely, the judges entered the merits of the matter to conclude that it did not proceed given that “for more than four decades in a public, peaceful, uninterrupted manner and as owners” and that “as such owners they had been treated by the Administration up to the present moment ”and that the transmission chain had been“ impeccable ”. The Xunta alleges that the State never recognized that the Francos were possessors in good faith and that in the petition of the lawsuit it limited itself to requesting the restitution of the Meirás pazo “after liquidation, in its case, of the possessory state.” It maintains that the subsequent application does not substantially alter its claims and that it only obeyed to show, “if possible with more intensity”, that the possession of origin was in bad faith in view of the Franco’s answer to the demand. It further argues that the opinion of the Xunta’s expert commission predates the appearance of the 1938 deed that proved the nullity of the 1941 purchase and this opinion “also does not constitute the claim or the complete thesis of the plaintiff.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.