News release: Charges from solidarity with Palestine advance in Spain’s courts
The following is a Red Roja (Red Network — Spanish state) news release. Translation by John Catalinotto.
The National High Court denied a request for dismissal of the case against Ángeles Maestro and two other comrades for sending funds to the Palestinian people and ordered the opening of the Ordinary Summary for collaboration with a terrorist organization.
Court No. 6 of the National High Court in charge of the open case against Ángeles Maestro and two other colleagues accused of financing terrorism has issued an Order of June 10, 2019, denying the dismissal of that case and ordering “the continuity of the proceedings for the process of the Ordinary Summary taking into account the penalties associated with the crime attributed to them.” The penalties set in the Criminal Code include between two and 10 years’ imprisonment and fines of three times the funds sent.
As will be remembered, the accusation is based on the two campaigns to collect funds for solidarity with the Palestinian people through a bank account of which Ángeles Maestro was the owner and the other two people facing charges are authorized signers.
Those campaigns took place in 2014 and 2015, years in which the Israeli army’s attacks on the Palestinian people caused thousands of deaths and injuries, as well as extensive destruction of homes, schools and hospitals. These events were reported in the documentary “Gaza,” which recently won a Goya award.
In her statement before the Audiencia Nacional on Feb. 5, Ángeles Maestro took full responsibility for carrying out such campaigns aimed at sending funds — modest amounts such as 5,300 euros in 2014 and 3,085 in 2015 — to help rebuild schools and hospitals.
Fulfilling this objective has been authenticated by means of an official document from the Palestinian National Authority presented to the court.
The first amount was given to Palestinian leader Leila Khaled, who at that time visited several cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, was received by municipal authorities and faced no legal obstacles to conducting public meetings of solidarity with her people. The fact that Leila Khaled is the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has been the legal justification wielded by the Israeli association, “The Lawfare Project Spain,” and accepted by the aforementioned court.
Red Network, while rejecting such accusation and reiterating its solidarity with the Palestinian people and its just struggle against the Israeli occupation, understands that the accusation made against these comrades is intended to frighten and to undermine widespread solidarity in society.
Red Network believes that this is a general attack against solidarity with the struggle that the Palestinian people have maintained for decades against the Israeli occupation, despite the unspeakable suffering that its legitimate resistance brings.
Red Network therefore states that there can be no other response than the intensification of solidarity with Palestine. It also calls for collaboration to break the silence of the media in this regard and asks for support for the accused comrades.