Original full interview in DEIA newspaper

A veteran judge experienced in a thousand legal battles expressed his opposition to the so-called ‘Parot Doctrine’ since it was installed in 2006.

Has the Supreme Court corrected itself?

You can say yes. The door to the Parot Doctrine has been closed, but not by the Supreme Court, but by the European Court of Human Rights. Their sentences are legally binding and what the Supreme Court has done, in agreement with the doctrine set by the sentence of the Grand Chamber of the Court of Strasbourg, has been to accept this doctrine that affects not only Ines del Rio, but also all of the rest who find themselves in the same situation, as the sentence specifically pointed out. The door was opened, illegally in my point of view, by the Second Courtroom of the Supreme Court in 2006 and has been closed by the European Court of Human Rights.

And how was the debate?

There was an authentic unanimity as far as the acceptance of the doctrine marked by the European Court of Human Rights. There was no resistance to this matter nor any die-hard position. The discrepancy (12 judges in favour to four against) was given in the procedural form to materialize the change, about the way to follow it.

Has the ‘Parot Doctrine’ been definitively buried, or is their some loophole?

It has been definitively closed. There are attempts for a partial application, but this doesn’t pass from being a commentary that I’ve seen in some of the media. Objectively I don’t know of any specific position in this sense.

Do you think they are going to prolong the execution of the sentence in the close to forty pending cases?

You have to recalculate the reductions of the sentences. Some people that have a reduction of their sentence that has been done according to the Parot Doctrine will have to solicit a new calculation of exemption to calculate them from the thirty years. This could last awhile: one week, two… whatever is necessary. But there isn’t going to be any bad intention. You have to verify the situations of all the convicts, but nothing more.

Later they will have to study case by case.

You have to analyse every specific case, verify the facts, the reductions of the sentence, the penitentiary benefits… and once you know how the calculation stands, a date is set for their release.

Can the execution of the sentence of Strasbourg be avoided by any legal engineering?

Engineers study in superior technical schools of engineering. The law and engineering are like oil and water. It was an unfortunate phrase by the Home Secretary that could have its media impact but it doesn’t go with the law.

That Strasbourg has reprimanded Spain for passing over such a fundamental principal such as non-retroactivity, does it mean a slap in the face for the Rajoy government?

That’s very disconcerting. I won’t add anything more.

The Spanish government has in its hand the resolution of the process by changing their penitentiary policy?

Evidently because the penitentiary policy depends on the Home Secretary. There are options, from paroles up to pardons.

Is it legal and fair the dispersion of the prisoners of ETA?

I have always manifested against this, even in the time of the ‘years of lead’ in which I was working in the Basque Country. And now with more reason. It doesn’t make sense and for that it is one of the questions where there can more clearly be a change in the penitentiary policy. It is also true that at times dispersion has been used by the world of the Abertzale Left and ETA itself to impede that some prisoners can think for themselves. You can talk about prisoners of ETA but also about prisoners of ETA itself. A prisoner of ETA itself is one who doesn’t dare take the step from prisoner to traitor.