A legend under a shadow

You don't have to die to set an example. Sometimes obituaries take the form of well-deserved tributes, but others are attacks on the memory that help us to cope with our unresolved relationship with death.

Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, and some people are describing him as one of the greatest actors of his generation. There will undoubtedly be specialists with sufficient arguments to effectively dissect an exaggeration of that dimension. You can be considered an icon of popular culture for very different reasons to that of having a talent for playing a role.

That was the case with Connery and it is surely the most merit-worthy part of his biography, the most important. However, there are other aspects of his life as well, which are smaller and filled with shadows. His relationship with Marbella is one of them.

After leaving the town which had been his home for over 20 years, he was involved in a legal investigation over a property speculation operation concerning his property, which benefited a few unscrupulous individuals and caused harm to the town of Marbella.

The actor's attitude during that time was a model of arrogance and obstruction of justice. He did not respond to the summonses issued by the judge, when he made a statement from the Bahamas he said he did not recognise the jurisdiction of a Spanish court with regard to his actions and he used all his considerable influence to try to torpedo the legal process.

In fact Connery had so much influence in high places that the judge leading the investigation into the case found himself under unprecedented pressure. He was even investigated for disclosing secret information and was forced to seek support from the authorities because of the intimidating tone of the letters sent to him by the British ambassador.

Things didn't go at all badly for Connery. Charges against him were dropped after he attributed all responsibility to his wife, and he heard no more about the matter. His lawyer, who was found guilty, managed to escape to Argentina before the sentence could be carried out.

Impunity can take many different forms.