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EU court orders Spain to compensate Basque leader

Spain must compensate the radical Basque separatist leader Arnaldo Otegi after wrongly sentencing him to jail for insulting King Juan Carlos, the European court of human rights has decided.

See The Guardian’s report here.

The court in Strasbourg ruled that Spain must pay €23,000  in compensation to Otegi for breaching his right to freedom of expression after he accused the Spanish monarch of protecting police torturers.

Otegi's remarks were "made in his capacity as elected member of and spokesperson for a parliamentary group …in the context of the recent closure of the Egunkaria newspaper and the complaint alleging ill-treatment", the judges ruled.

Spanish judges last year threw out a case alleging that Otamendi and other Egunkaria executives had collaborated with Eta. The decision came too late to save Egunkaria.