by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
This is Part II of my recounting of the Ordeal which I suffered at Saintiago de Compostela, Spain, (Part I here) the legal consequences of which false accusations, in which I now find myself. I ask you to write my US and Italian Ambassadors at Madrid and express your personal protest at the violation of all norms of Spanish Law as regards this case
One might get the impression that my ordeal came to an end on Aug. 18, 2022, when I was at last released from illegal detention by the National Police, San Clemente Commisariate.
But no. That is only where it began.
Because the real ordeal was not that I was viciously and without cause assaulted in the Basilica by three security guards, but that the National Police conspired with one of them to begin a legal persecution of which I am now and will be the victim for some time to come.
Evidently, the amount of revenue passing through hands at the Basilica of Saintiago de Compostela is so great as to make the protection of the corrupt racket of persecuting Catholics such a requirement, that no questioning of it can be made by anyone. And if any pilgrim dares put that at risk, he must be hounded to the ends of the earth to keep him from speaking out. My insistence on my rights as a Catholic in Spanish Law, to worship God and venerate the Apostle without a mask, consequently, has woken a sleeping dragon, who was quite content on his absolute control of the Basilica.
Contrary to Spanish Law, the police compiled an accusation against me the day after I was released from detention. I was supposed to receive it with my attorney when I was released. That was impossible, because I HAD NOT BEEN ACCUSED BY ANYONE, so the Police could not accuse me of anything, other than grave disobedience to themselves: which was an invented excuse, since there are numerous witnesses, including the Municipal Police, that I complied with ever reasonable request.
So, according to what I was told, the next morning, after my release, someone solicited the female security guard to come to the police station and state that she “had suffered a strong pull in her arm”. Accusing me of being the perpetrator. I never touched her, let alone pulled her arm. No further claim was made about this accusation, so I cannot describe or explain it further.
Then the National Police wrote up the accusation with 2 criminal charges: one, for grave physical assault, another for grave disobedience to a public official, namely, the National Police, in refusing to identify myself.
According to my attorney, grave physical assault can only be charged if there is physical damage, verified by a hospital, which lasts more than 6 weeks (I am not sure on the exact length). The accuser however never went to the hospital. And clearly, after 24 hours, could not make such an allegation.
However, it is not she who made the allegation. It is the National Police who reinterpreted her testimony as such an accusation.
You see how corrupt this system is?
If found guilty for grave physical injury, the maximum sentence, barring no permanent physical damage, is 6 months of incarceration. It is a criminal offense.
The second charge is laughable: because I did show my passport. Twice. Once to the Municipal Police officers, and again to the National Police. Both groups of police are witnesses to the second exhibition of my U. S. Passport.
So on the following Tuesday, the Court of Inquest was held.
The Court had no intention of doing an inquest, however. It presumed I was guilty. It intended to frame me for the charges by intentionally omitting to SUMMON the witnesses against me or even ask THE MUNICIPAL POLICE if the accusations were true.
Moreover, the female guard on the morning of the inquest HAD ALREADY CONTACTED THE COURT OF INQUEST and DENIED the charge of grave assault!
But the Court REFUSED to accept her testimony!
I knew I was already condemned as soon as I entered the court room, because, as soon as the Judge saw me, she formed a most sour expression of disgust on her face, seeing a Franciscan Friar in habit enter her court, and lowered her face to hide her expression.
Then, contrary to practice, the Judge refused me the opportunity to explain what happened. The Judge rather began to interrogate me wanting to know what happened.
Her first question was an outrage, because it showed her total prejudice: “Did you enter the Cathedral without wearing a mask?”
My defense attorney in due course remarked that there is presently no law of Spain requiring the wearing of the mask in the Cathedral or any public place of worship.
Next the Judge asked me if I had touched the guard. I answered no, specifying that only the guard touched me as she brushed past me to withdraw into the Cathedral. As I tried to mention that the Guard also attempted to smash my leg with the interior door, the judge cut me off and omitted it from the record.
The Judge, then, said I could explain what happened, and at about 15-30 seconds into my explanation cut me off and told me she had heard enough. She had not in fact heard anything! — Thus denying me the right to defend myself.
In Spanish Law you also have no right to be accused face-to-face by your accusers. The police did not come to the court, nor were they summonded.
The Judge told me that she did not want to hear what I did and why I did it, only what I did. I responded, “I am a rational creature, everything, I do is for a reason. If you do not want to know the reasons why I did what I did, then I will not answer any more of your questions.”
About this time, the prosecutor entered the court room. She did not enter by the main door, which would have caused her to have to pass near me within a meter’s distance or so. She, rather, lurked in the rear, at the Judge’s private door, until the Judge recognized her as present and granted her permission to enter there. Then the entire prejudice of the court was shown, when instead of going to her place at the left side of the bench by passing infront of the Judge, the Prosecutor (a woman wearing a black silk-like medical mask and long drooping skirt), pushed the chair of the sitting judge away from the back wall to make room for herself to pass! And the Judge endured it.
And with that, all the while knowing that the female guard had withdraw her accusation, the Judge entered into the record that I had assaulted the woman and set a date for my trial as Sept. 21st!
How can an court of inquest set a date for a trial when the accuser removed her charge and when witnesses are not heard for both sides? It was a joke. Not justice.
The Prosecutor then offered me a plea-bargin: 33% reduction on sentence. So that instead of being found guilty by the court (she was super confident) and sentenced to 6 months in prison and fined 3 months salary, the Prosecutor offered me, then and there, 4 months in prison and garnishment of 2 months salary.
I was very shocked at the presumption of the prosecutor since she had not seen any of the evidence and should have known by reading the accusation by the police that a strong-pull on the arm does not constitute grave assault in Spanish Law.
Moreover, I later learned that the Prosecutor was so prejudiced against me, that in her own version of the charges against me, she added another 3rd charge: grave lack of respect for the National Police officers who illegally detained and tortured me for 11 hours.
You see. The fundamental character of the Spanish legal system is cruelty. And if you do not take it like slave, you are committing a crime! … The look on the Prosecutor’s face as the plea deal was offered me, was memorable: she was absolutely delighted to see me squirm and be in a position where I could not defend myself.
Little did I know that was already in the works.
I most strongly denied agreement with the plea deal.
The Judge in setting the date of the trial then said I did not have to attend the trial, that I could be tried in abstentia. And in saying this she smiled strangely.
It was then I understood that they had no intention of ever hearing my testimony. That I was already guilty in their eyes.
After the hearing, my attorney was given the transcript and I was given the opportunity to correct it. There were several errors, the most egregious of which was, that the transcriptionist — also a woman — had written, “The accused said, that the female guard never made a move to touch him.” or something nearly meaning that, when I in fact had said, “I never made a move to touch the female guard.”
And if you know anything about the Law, you understand now what was going on,
Weeks later, I understood why the Judge smiled strangely at that moment when she said, “tried in absentia”.
Because, weeks later I was informed that the Spainish Legal system is like that of the United Kingdom. Your lawyer cannot appear in court, only your barrister can. But mine was in the court of inquest!
But to have a barrister, you need to appoint a barrister. And to appoint a barrister you need to sign a power of attorney before a Notary of the Spanish State.
So I rushed to the nearest notary, asking for expedited consideration so as to meet the deadline. The secretary of the notary explained that I would be given prompt attention. Then after contacting someone in Court or Government, the Notary refused to allow me to sign a power of attorney, giving this excuse:
That a United States Passport and Driver’s License are insufficient forms of identification!
This is an absolute lie and contrary to all treaty agreements between Spain and the USA regarding the mutual acceptance of passports! My legal team also tells me that they have never heard such an outrageous claim made in law.
Not being able to sign a power of attorney, I cannot appoint a Barrister. But without a barrister, I must either appear in court in person, or be found guilty on all charges out of contempt of court without any opportunity being given to my attorney to defend me.
If I appear in person, I will be apprehended, because it is obvious that I have already been found guilty.
This is the totally corrupt, grossly immoral, barbarous banana-republic system of justice in the formerly Catholic Kingdom of Spain.
Please I beg you to write the US and Italian ambassadors at Madrid, Spain, (here and here, respectively) and make the loudest and most poignent complaint possible, demanding that the Spanish Government at the highest levels intervene in this case, to prevent a citizen of the United States of America, and of the Italian Republic, from being so clearly railroaded and framed by a group of very corrupt public officials at Compostela.
I have written all of the above out of the grave necessity of self-defense, and it is not my intention to touch the reputations of the innocent, only to expose what is actually happening to me. I fully expect, however, considering the level of corruption, to be additionally charged with defamation by the corrupt officials I have mentioned in my testimony. Such is the joke, which is called, “modern Spain”.