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Spanish terrorist Ines Del Rio Prada’s complaint reaches Court decision

A convicted terrorist, serving a 30 year sentence in a Spanish prison since 1989, will bring her human rights complaint before the European court next week.

Judges are scheduled to give their ruling in the case of Del Rio Prada v. Spain (no. 42750/09) on 10 July.

The applicant, Ines Del Rio Prada, is a Spanish national who was born in 1958 and is currently serving a prison sentence in Murcia (Spain). In eight sets of criminal proceedings for offences linked to terrorist attacks she was given prison sentences which, served successively, would have totalled more than 3,000 years. She started
serving her sentence in February 1989.

Having regard to the close legal and chronological connection between the offences, the Audiencia Nacional combined the sentences and fixed the term to be served at 30 years – the maximum sentence applicable under Article 70 of the 1973 Criminal Code which was in force at the time.

On 24 April 2008, allowing for remission for work done in prison, the prison authorities decided to release the applicant on 2 July 2008.

However, on 19 May 2008 the Audiencia Nacional asked the prison authorities to revise their calculation, applying a leading Supreme Court judgment of 2006 according to which remission should be applied to each sentence individually and not to the 30-year maximum sentence.

On 23 June 2008 the Audiencia Nacional decided that the applicant should be released on 27 June 2017. Relying on Article 7 (no punishment without law), the applicant complains that the Supreme Court’s case-law was applied retroactively.

She also considers that her continued detention is contrary to Article 5 (right to liberty and security). Lastly, under Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), she considers that the new case-law was applied by the Spanish courts for political reasons, to delay the release of prisoners convicted of acts of terrorism.

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