FRANCO’S grandchildren cannot sue over alleged slurs on their grandfather’s reputation, a judge ruled.
Gonzalo Salgado, an investigating judge in Alcobendas (Madrid), said the plaintiffs had no legitimate grounds for objecting to Los papeles secretos de Franco (Franco’s secret papers), a documentary shown on the La Sexta television channel last November.
They hoped to sue the Galician investigator Carlos Babio, whose 22 years of research into Franco’s fortune was to back the government’s claim that Franco’s summer residence Pazo de Meiras was state property.
Writer Mariano Sanchez Soler, the director general of Atresmedia Television, Javier Bardaji, several television journalists and the documentary’s director also faced prosecution.
The seven grandchildren claimed that the programme insulted the late dictator Francisco Franco and repeated “untrue affirmations” that “defamed and discredited” them.
“On a 95,000 salary, how could he leave more than €500,000?” the programme asked, although the judge pointed out that Franco’s estate went to his widow and only daughter, not to them.
The question was generic, said Salgado concluding that the family was not entitled to prosecute as they were not “directly offended” by the “cited offences.”