Injured Greenpeace activist faces Spanish navy culprits who threaten prosecution under ‘piracy’ chapter of criminal code

Press release - 28 July, 2015
Madrid, 28 July, 2015 - A Greenpeace activist who was severely injured by the Spanish navy on November 15th, 2014, during a peaceful protest at sea near the Canary Islands is being investigated under the piracy chapter of Spain's criminal code. She faced questioning today by the National Court concerning this investigation, and her complaint concerning the Navy’s gross negligence.

Director of Greenpeace Spain, Mario Rodríguez, said:

"By coming at her with this ridiculous accusation the Spanish navy is engaging in ethically dubious tactics to avoid owning up to nearly killing a peaceful activist. It also clearly shows how beholden the Spanish government is to Repsol."

The activist testified before the National Court's Chamber of Investigation No. 5 in Madrid, where, if charges are brought and she is found guilty, she could face a jail sentence of up to three years.

The incident took place during a Greenpeace peaceful protest against exploratory oil drilling that the Repsol multinational was planning to undertake at sea close to the Canary Islands. [1]

Following the peaceful protest, the Navy submitted a report to the National Court on November 17th, 2014, which triggered the opening of a judicial investigation before the National Court’s Chamber of Investigation No. 5. In April, 2015 the National Court’s prosecution sought to charge the injured activist under the piracy chapter, specifically disobeying or resisting Navy orders. This carries a potential of a one to three year jail sentence.

Greenpeace Spain and the activist were only made aware of the investigation this month.

The prosecution’s request for charges was filed ten days after Greenpeace Spain and the activists filed a complaint against the Navy, before the Investigation Chamber of the National Court too, alleging gross negligence which resulted in injuring activists, as well as damages to the Greenpeace RHIBs. Both complaints (the Navy’s and Greenpeace’s) have been joined and currently are at the investigative stage, before Investigation Chamber No. 5 of the National Court.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

[1] Read here about the incident: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Greenpeace-activist-hospitalised-after-Spanish-Navy-rams-boats-in-oil-protest/

Video of incident can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5DE6UmzSOA

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