TWO supporters of the Catalan independence movement have been fined €900 for a crime against the Spanish Crown.
The defendants were brought up on charges after they burned an upside down picture of King Juan Carlos during a pro-independence demonstration staged in Mataro in Catalonia. It was a premeditated act carried out to smear the reputation of the monarchy, said the National Court.
Though Guifre Peguera (23) and Jordi Nogue (24) admitted to having participated in the non-authorised demonstration mounted back in 2013, their defence counsel argued the defendants only burned the picture to criticise the monarchy and that they never intended to insult or disparage the Spanish monarchy, since no slogans were chanted at the time nor was a manifesto read during the demonstration, which was not against the crown, he said.
Nevertheless, the judge did not see it that way and ruled they had indeed sought to insult the monarchy, especially by turning the King’s picture upside down.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office was asking for a €10,800 fine, but the judge decided the minimum fine was enough, since Peguera and Nogue are students and have no steady income.