DESPITE a huge amount of support, including a petition on change.org for a government pardon signed by more than 300,000 people, a young man from Granada was forced to enter jail on Tuesday evening (June 7) over €79.
Alejandro Fernandez was admitted to Albolote jail in Granada after presenting himself voluntarily shortly after 7pm on Tuesday in response to an order to do so from the authorities, having run out of legal options to avoid the five-year sentence being made effective.
The incident the young man has been sent behind bars from happened in 2010, when he travelled to Malaga with a friend and paid for alcoholic drinks and a chocolate milkshake from a supermarket with a credit card which turned out to be cloned.
Fernandez presented himself to the authorities voluntarily when asked to do so and was kept in cells for five days before being released with charges, however a judge at a speedy trial decided to find him guilty of fraud and belonging to an organised group of card-cloners, and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
However the accused, his family and his lawyer have always maintained that the young man, aged just 18 at the time of the incident, was tricked by an older, trusted friend. His mother, Rosario Fernandez, has said that the older man (who is still being hunted for by the police six years on) handed him a card in his name and explained it was a prepaid card to avoid carrying cash and that Alejandro believed him.
The initial sentence was appealed, and the sentence reduced to five years, however numerous attempts and pleas for a pardon have been turned down by the government and the public prosecutor.
“My son made a mistake unknowingly. He has mended his ways since, has a steady job, home and partner, all of which he will lose now because of this,” the distraught mother said.
Fernandez has pledged not to give up and to continue fighting for what he considers an out-of-date, unfair legal system to be changed.
“I’ve been waiting six years for justice and now I’m going to have to pay with another five years of my life,” he complained before entering jail.