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Three-year prison sentence for police officer who self-harmed and blamed a drunk driver in Coín

Three-year prison sentence for police officer who self-harmed and blamed a drunk driver in Coín

CRIME ·

Spain's Supreme Court upheld the sentence against the Guardia Civil officer imposed for falsification of documents and false accusations

Europa Press

Friday, 17 March 2023, 17:58

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Spain's Supreme Court has confirmed the three-year prison sentence imposed on a Guardia Civil officer who self-harmed and blamed a drunk driver he had stopped at a breathalyser checkpoint in Malaga province in 2015. It has also ratified the sentence of two years for the two Local Police officers who accompanied him that day and who supported his version in an attestation.

The court concluded that "no matter how many explanations one might seek, the version of the events given by the defendants is objectively incredible", while the driver's version that the police officer himself smashed his head against the car window is "perfectly congruent with self-inflicted injuries, although this self-harming behaviour would have been more expected from the detainee than from the arresting officer".

In the sentence, which Europa Press has had access to, the court includes the facts that date back to the early hours of 5 August 2015, when the Guardia Civil officer, one of his colleagues, and the two convicted Local Police officers were at the Coín fairground. On that day, they were with a driver who, in a state of drunkenness, refused to identify himself.

According to the evidence, when the local officers asked him to submit to a breathalyser test, the man told them that he would not do so because he did not "have the balls" to do so. Faced with this response, one of the Guardia Civil officers – after handcuffing the man – "hit himself against the window of the detainee's car, injuring himself, and then pulled at the polo shirt of the uniform he was wearing until he ripped it". "You did this to me", said the Guardia Civil officer to the driver in the presence of the other officers.

He then took the driver to the Guardia Civil station in Coín for allegedly attacking an officer, resisting arrest and disobedience. The Local Police corroborated the stated account and drew up a report against the driver for an alleged offence against road safety.

In 2020, the Provincial Court of Malaga sentenced the Guardia Civil officer to three years in prison for falsification of documents and false denunciation; and imposed a sentence of two years in prison on the two Local Police officers for the same offences. The officers, dissatisfied with the ruling, brought the case before the High Court of Justice of Andalucía (TJSA), which dismissed their appeals and upheld the initial sentence.

The two Local Police officers then turned to the Supreme Court. They argued, among other issues, that their conviction had violated their right to the presumption of innocence and that the evidence at the trial had been wrongly assessed by the previous judges.

After studying the case, the Supreme Court concluded that the evidence gathered was sufficiently reasoned by the sentencing court and that the presumption of innocence of the accused was not violated.

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