The Supreme Court of Spain affirms that the crimes committed by Adolfo Scilingo are crimes against humanity.

Communiqué of Equipo Nizkor

  • 1) According to the official announcement of the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court in Appeal nº 10049/2006-P, having completed its consideration of the case on 3rd July 2007, the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, sitting in plenary session, agreed by a majority of 10 votes to 5, to resolve the appeal in the Scilingo case with two decisions, the text of which announcement is available at: http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/espana/juicioral/doc/anuncio.html [ESL/SPA]

  • 2) The clearest variation from the original judgement is that the application of the penalties has been modified, so that article 607 bis of the current Criminal Code - which punishes crimes against humanity - is not used. The Court applies the specific penalties provided in the current Criminal Code for the crimes of murder and unlawful detention but holds that these crimes “constitute crimes against humanity according to international law”.

  • 3) The way in which this penalty is applied coincides with one of the two alternative proposals contained in the final conclusions submitted by the lawyer Antonio Segura on behalf of the Argentinian Human Rights Association of Madrid on 7th March 2005, at the end of the original trial, categorising the acts as crimes against humanity. This document stated as follows:

    “b) Given the usual lack of provisions in domestic laws with reference to the establishment of specific penalties for crimes against humanity, their absence should not create an obstacle given that such crimes, being offences against fundamental legal rights, constitute international crimes because they are committed on a widespread or systematic scale with the participation or tolerance of the de iure or de facto political power. As a result the repression and sanction of these actions in internal law is dealt with by the normal criminal classifications of unlawful association, murder, assassination, bodily harm, torture, extortion, kidnapping etc. in all cases aggravated by reason of being acts committed on a systematic and widespread scale, carried out by state infrastructure and which violate the common conscience of humanity.”

    The first alternative proposal which appeared in paragraph a) of the said document sought the application of article 607 bis. This was accepted unanimously by the Criminal Division of the National Court (Audiencia Nacional) and has now been modified by the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court.

    It is worth highlighting that the other accusing parties who appeared in the case, and in particular, those represented by the lawyers Manuel Ollé, Carmen Lamarca, José Luis Galán y Carlos Slepoy, sought the application of the crimes of Genocide and Terrorism, classifications which were dismissed by the Third Section of the National Court Criminal Division and further dismissed by the Plenary Session of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court.

  • 4) The application of this criterion by the Plenary Session of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, results in an apparent increase in the applicable punishment, as this is now raised from the 640 years imprisonment set by the Third Section of the Criminal Divison of the National Court to approximately 1,084 years. In fact the effective penalty is reduced from 30 to 25 years following the maximum limits for enforcement of penalties provided for under article 76.1a) of the current Criminal Code.

  • 5) The Plenary Session of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, according to the official announcement released on 03Jul07, rejected the attempt to convict Adolfo Scilingo for the crimes of Genocide and Terrorism and have affirmed the basis for the judgement of the Third Division of the National Court that the acts committed by Adolfo Scilingo constitute crimes against humanity.

  • 6) Given that the basis for the judgement and individual voting is still not known, Equipo Nizkor will present a more detailed analysis as soon as the judgement in full is made available by the relevant Division of the Supreme Court.
Madrid (Spain), Brussels (Belgium) and Bahía Blanca (Argentina) 4th July 2007
Gregorio Dionis, president of Equipo Nizkor

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small logoThis document has been published on 05Jul07 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.