A SPANISH marine faces up to 30 days in prison after signing a petition criticising Franco.
The navy opened a serious misconduct disciplinary proceeding against the man after he signed a statement expressing his, “absolute rejection,” of the dictator.
The petition was formed in response to one signed last year by 144 serving and retired members of the Spanish armed forces justifying Franco’s 1936 military coup.
The incident has opened up a debate over the freedom of members of the military to express their own opinions compared to their commitment to neutrality.
Mariano Casado, the marine’s lawyer, said: “Criticising Franco does not constitute getting involved in political debate or taking sides in favour of one political force or another, since there is no constitutional party in Spain that can defend the dictator.”