Chris­tian lawyers lose slan­der case

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - Awatkins@cbnews.es

By Alex Watkins A LAW­SUIT by the Span­ish as­so­ci­a­tion of Chris­tian lawyers against a United Left (IU) party coun­cil­lor in Cal­losa de Se­gura has been thrown out of court.

They had ac­cused deputy mayor Ismael Ballester of be­smirch­ing their hon­our over com­ments he made at a press con­fer­ence af­ter a con­fronta­tion over the re­moval of the Cruz de los Caí­dos civil war mon­u­ment from the town cen­tre by the coun­cil in com­pli­ance with the law of his­tor­i­cal mem­ory.

The mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rated res­i­dents who had fallen fight­ing for Franco and the founder of the fas­cist Falange party, José An­to­nio Primo de Rivera.

Its re­moval was none­the­less un­pop­u­lar in some cir­cles, from the Catholic Church to far-right groups in­clud­ing the mod­ern-day Falange party.

Some res­i­dents formed a protest group, which was rep­re­sented by the as­so­ci­a­tion of Chris­tian lawyers and camped around the mon­u­ment out­side the San Martín church by the town hall for months to pre­vent it from be­ing re­moved.

Sr Ballester ac­cused the as­so­ci­a­tion of be­ing an­tidemo­cratic and den­i­grat­ing women’s rights, es­pe­cially the LGBTI col­lec­tive.

How­ever, the judge con­cluded that al­though his re­marks could, taken out of con­text, be con­sid­ered an­noy­ing, of­fen­sive or slan­der­ous, in the cir­cum­stances they were not so ‘un­ques­tion­ably slan­der­ous’ as to be con­sid­ered an at­tack against their hon­our.

As a re­sult his crit­i­cism was con­sid­ered to be ac­cept­able free­dom of ex­pres­sion of his ideas, given his role as deputy mayor de­scrib­ing the po­si­tions be­ing taken by some against the demo­crat­i­cally taken de­ci­sion of the coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to IU.

Sr Ballester thanked those who had sup­ported him and com­mented that he was happy and knew jus­tice would be done, adding that now he wanted ‘this to be over so I can con­tinue with my work, which de­serves all my ef­fort’.

The cross was part of the mon­u­ment which was re­moved

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