The Supreme Court has annulled this Wednesday the sentence of the National Court that acquitted in 2021 the ETA member Soledad Iparraguirre, alias Anboto, of a car bomb attack prepared in May 1985 in the vicinity of the Mendizorroza sports center, in Vitoria, for having omitted “with a non-rational argumentation” the assessment of fingerprint evidence that “for the prosecutor, with objective grounds, had a high value”.
In the resolution, the Criminal Chamber orders the Court to repeat the trial with a court made up of different magistrates and to issue a new sentence.
The case was continued against Iparraguirre for twenty crimes of murder in degree of frustration, another of attack against agents of the authority and a crime of havoc. The terrorists planted a car bomb in front of the Vitoria sports center ticket offices, but the Police, who had heard of the two vehicles that the ETA members had just stolen to carry out the action, located the car before it exploded and deactivated the device.
The Prosecutor’s Office, whose appeal is now upheld by the Supreme Court, reproached the National Court’s acquittal for ruling out assessing the fingerprint evidence found on one of the stolen vehicles, which identified Iparraguirre, arguing that it would contradict another report of the same type made years before in which it was collected that there were no identifiable traces in the vehicle that, without a doubt, had been occupied by the perpetrators of the attack on trial.
For its part, the High Court emphasizes that the reasoning of the judgment “is manifestly wrong”, since “it starts from a premise that, as is obvious, is false”, since the first report does not deny that there were traces of the defendant, but the prints were filed as anonymous.
“The expert comparison with the undoubted fingerprints of the accused will only be carried out at the request of the Public Prosecutor years later. There are not two contradictory reports. There is only one expert report. It is clear that the argument brandished to disqualify a piece of evidence makes a serious mistake which, verified, allows the sentence to be annulled since it cannot be considered to be irrelevant or non-decisive evidence. Having it significantly alters the evidentiary framework, “explains the Supreme Court.
The judgment of the National High Court, now annulled, had the particular vote of one of the three magistrates who issued it, who considered that there was conclusive, full, valid, adequate and sufficient evidence to consider fully proven, and beyond all reasonable doubt, the participation of Iparraguirre as responsible, as the author, of the facts prosecuted, constituting the crimes of murder, attack and acts of a terrorist nature.
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