Not everything hateful is a hate crime. This is pointed out by the Alcobendas (Madrid) judge who has filed the complaint against the Vox spokesperson in Congress, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, for saying that “a foreigner is three times more likely to rape than a Spaniard.” The magistrate argues that although the phrase may be “sensationalist” and “absolutely unfortunate”, Espinosa de los Monteros did not promote discrimination, hatred or violence against foreigners.
In a car, to which elDiario.es has had access, the judge files the complaint of the lawyer from Reus (Tarragona) Hilal Tarkou on behalf of the Watani association, an entity that promotes coexistence and that has fought the attacks in court. migrants by far-right parties such as PlataformaxCatalunya or Vox.RELATED
The events date back to November 5, 2019, when in an interview on Antena 3, Espinosa de los Monteros made his xenophobic allegation. Five days before the general elections, Vox had sharpened its anti-immigration discourse and insisted on linking the arrival of foreigners with crime, an idea that does not match the official crime figures. In the opinion of the Watani association, the words of the Vox spokesperson constituted a hate crime by promoting discrimination against migrants.
The judge of Alcobendas, the judicial party to which Antena 3 belongs, thinks differently. Espinosa de los Monteros’ phrase, argues the magistrate, “undoubtedly seeks a sensationalist effect aimed at attracting the most radical electorate with immigration policies.” But it is not enough, the judge adds, to open an investigation for a hate crime, since jurisprudence requires inciting the commission of discriminatory acts against migrants or other groups protected by this criminal type. “It is not enough to express hateful ideas or opinions,” emphasizes the judge.
“It cannot be understood that the phrase is directly or indirectly promoting discrimination, hatred or violence towards the group of foreigners in Spain,” the judge resolved. Despite considering that Espinosa de los Monteros’ expression “may be erroneous and absolutely unfortunate from a moral or ethical point of view,” the judge concludes that it does not have “sufficient potential to endanger the group of foreigners.”
The lawyer Tarkou has regretted the dismissal of the case, which he has considered “outrageous”, and has appealed it before the Provincial Court of Madrid. The Watani association also denounced the leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, for the false data he used in the electoral debate of TVE last campaign to try to link immigration and sexual violence, but the Alcobendas judge has referred the proceedings to the courts Madrid for being the judicial district where the possible crime was committed.