LAST year the Spanish Ministry of Justice dealt with 29 innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit, but there were also 360 complaints from others obstructed by the law. Long-drawn-out court cases, erroneous embargoes and police raids or searches at mistaken addresses figured largely in complaints received by the Ministry of Justice during 2010.
The most frequent complaint from ordinary citizens was loss of belongings required by police for their investigations or returned in bad condition.
The ministry is to recommend that Francisco Jose A.R. should receive €8,000 after police entered his home in 2007 and removed a router, a laptop computer and other IT material as well as a telephone switchboard.
The case against him was shelved and Francisco Jose asked for the return of the confiscated possessions, but four years later no-one has been able to locate them.
Francisco Jose’s experience is just one of many and others who found themselves caught up in the machinery of the law have lost luxury cars and in one instance a boat that inexplicably ended up in the breaker’s yard.
Others were victims of carelessness, like Inmaculada L.A. of Marbella, whose jewellery, two cars and cash had been taken away by the Guardia Civil during an investigation.
After a considerable delay, Inmaculada L.A. was eventually acquitted and the Guardia Civil returned her cars and cash.
However, she is still waiting for her jewellery which, despite her constant requests, has apparently disappeared without trace.