Court convicts Podemos deputy over eviction protest

Madrid Assembly deputy Isa Serra of Unidas Podemos, prior to entering courtroom. Photo: Kiko Parra / El País
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Defense attorneys for Isabel Serra, a prominent member of Unidas Podemos and deputy for the party in the Madrid regional assembly, have announced they will appeal a conviction and jail sentence against Serra handed down by the Madrid Superior Court of Justice (TSJM) for her part in a 2014 protest over a housing eviction in which two local Madrid police officers were injured.

The judges in the case convicted Serra on charges of assault, infliction of minor injuries and causing damage for her part in a neighborhood protest in Madrid’s Lavapiés neighborhood in January 2014. At the same time, the judges paradoxically threw out a charge of creating public disorder against Serra that been filed by the Madrid public prosecutor’s office.

The sentence includes a jail term of 19 months, a fine of 2,400 euros and disqualification from holding public office during the term of the sentence. The prison term is largely a symbolic punishment, however, since under Spanish law Serra will not go to jail because she has no prior criminal record and the sentence handed down is for less than two years.

► News Sources: Público, El País and La Vanguardia …

“They’ve convicted me for demonstrating against an eviction,” Serra said on Twitter in response to the conviction and sentence. “It is a disproportionate and unfair sentence. No matter how hard they try, we will not stop fighting for what is fair, for what is obvious”.

Public prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 23 months in prison and 5,200 euros compensation for the two Municipal Police officers who were injured during the incident.

Serra has always maintained her innocence and denied all the accusations. Her defense attorneys said they found the sentence surprising, given that “the charges brought by the Public Prosecutor’s Office were not based on any objective evidence (photographs or videos), but only on the subjective evidence of statements given by the police officers.”

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