In a six-page amicus curiae brief, the European Union (EU) Fair Trials Abroad Trust said convict Francisco Juan Larraņaga's "right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal was violated."
The group, at least the third such international legal body seeking to
intervene in the case, pointed out "pressure was exerted on the
Francisco Juan Larraņaga case by powerful social groups and he was the
subject on an unprecedented number of media reports that condemned him
even before his trial started."
The Fair Trials Abroad Trust claim that "as a result of the various ways in which the trial of Francisco Juan Larraņaga was not fair according to the obligations imposed under international law, the trial failed to comply with the safeguards."
"In those circumstances the death penalty should not be imposed or the death penalty must be immediately commuted," the group said, adding that the violations of international law in the case call into
question the legitimacy of his criminal conviction and his death sentence.
"Therefore, the Fair Trial Abroad Trust respectfully urged that both his conviction and sentenced be quashed."
Last January, three law associations in Spain have asked the SC for permission to intervene in the case of Larraņaga and save him from death by lethal injection.
On Feb. 3, 2004, the SC raised the penalty to death.
Larraņaga's other counsels Felicitas Aquino Arroyo and Sandra Marie Olaso Coronel urged the High Court to admit the amicus curiae briefs from the Barcelona Bar Associations (BBA), Basque Bar Council (BBC) and Bar Association of Madrid.
The three organizations anchored their interest in the case on the ground that Larraņaga is a "Spanish citizen with origins in the Basque country and therefore a member of the European Union."
In a two-page brief, received by the Consulate of Spain in Manila on Dec. 29, 2004, the BBA expressed it's "deep concern at the sentencing to death of a Spanish citizen."
Likewise, the BBA said the execution of a Spanish citizen will be in breach of the violation of the principle of reciprocity in international law. (SunnexLuzon)
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