The Supreme Court has confirmed this Friday the sentence to pay a fine of 6,480 euros to a doctor, known on social networks as Spiriman, for two continuous crimes of libel with publicity to the former president of the Junta de Andalucía Susana Díaz and to the former Deputy Minister of Health Martín Blanco for the expressions made against them in the videos he posted on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

The Chamber dismisses the cassation appeal filed by the convicted person against the judgment of the Provincial Court of Granada, which, like the one issued by the Criminal Court Number 6 of the same city, imposed the sentence for each of the crimes a 12-month fine at the rate of a daily quota of 9 euros (a total of 3,240 euros for each crime), as well as the payment of compensation of 5,000 euros to the former president and the former vice-counselor. In addition, the Court ordered the withdrawal of the videos from the YouTube channel and the social networks Facebook and Twitter when the sentence was final.

The court affirms that the defense is wrong in arguing that the “animus injuriandi” (intent to cause an attack on another’s dignity) has not been proven, arguing that the expressions on which the sentence is based have been taken out of context, as well as that the appellant is a political activist who has been very critical of the health management of the then president of the Andalusian Government and the Deputy Minister of Health.

In this case, the Chamber considers that the expressions made in the videos that the appellant posted on social networks, “as much as the defense tries to degrade their value by emphasizing their vindictive dimension, they have no protection in the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression “.

In his sentence, a speech by the president of the Second Chamber, Manuel Marchena, recalls that one of the most classic writers on criminal law stated that “… the essence of the crime of libel is not in the shell of the words but in the intention of the one who utters them”.

It affirms that this is the only way to explain that when defining the limits of the typicity of the crime punished in the same expression it can be interpreted, in a certain context, as a colloquial interjection located outside the walls of criminal law and that same word, already in another environment , can be valued as the sharp instrument to laminate the honorability of a third party.

This idea -points out the Court- makes it possible to reject a large part of the arguments of the defense that underlines the innocuous nature of the expressions used by the appellant. “Indeed, some of the words used by the accused (“hija de puta”, “scoundrel”, “cabrona”, “lameculos”), connected with other expressions asserted in the same videos that were used as a vehicle to the dissemination on networks of messages critical of the work of the government of the complainants, prevent their scope from being relativized to what could be considered colloquial expressions or those typical of a singular way of speaking”, the magistrates underline.

He adds that if the words stated above “are combined with others frequently used in the defendant’s speeches (such as «… you’re going to bleed up your ass bitch…. Come if you have balls and get me, Susana bitch. ….It really makes me want to shit on your face, spitting, on fucking Martin White….», «thief»), it is impossible to question that the purpose behind the dissemination of those messages was none other than erode in the most intense way possible the honorability of the complainants”.

Therefore, it concludes that “none of these epithets, in the context in which they were pronounced, can be considered protected by the constitutional text.” Our system of freedoms – the court specifies – does not grant protection to expressions such as those used by the accused in the context in which they were used. “In effect, in the weighing judgment that the Chamber has to verify between the right to honor of the complainants and the right to spread a critical, acid, even hurtful message towards the public officials who are the recipients of these imprecations, we grant precedence to the first of those rights in conflict”, concludes the Supreme Court.

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