Justice in the Canary Islands: year zero | Radio Club Tenerife | Present

The administration of Justice in the Canary Islands is already operating at full capacity, but not without uncertainty refering to effectiveness of security measures. In fact, justice operators,lawyers, judges and prosecutors have been at a minimum in order to attend the most peremptory causes, the so-called causes with prisoner and judge serious cases such as homicides, murders, gender violence and all those crimes derived from non-compliance with the state of alarm. From now on, the reactivation is total in all instances, Criminal, Administrative, Civil, Social and Commercial Litigation. This assumes the reactivation of procedural deadlines, that is to say, of those periods that the law contemplates in a judicial procedure. These deadlines were suspended on March 14 with the declaration of the state of alarm and it will be now when they are active again, but being computed from the beginning. For example, if a citizen had 15 days to present an appeal, June 5 must be counted as the first day.

In addition to the infinity of cases that still remain frozen in the instances of the Social or Contentious Administrative, it remains to clear the unknown of those procedures that must be judged with Jury Court. In this sense, from now on, the signs for the holding of said hearings will begin, which must be in person and It will be the judge who presides over the court who decides if the sanitary measures for this are complied with. And it won’t be easy. Even though that him General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) has recommended that telematic declarations be chosen whenever possible, the defendants, along with defense attorneys, the private prosecution and the Public Prosecutor’s Office must be present in the room and, obviously, the 12 members of the jury who will have to be chosen from among 48 people. This fact may not make social distancing possible, as has happened in the first jury trial in Granada that had to be suspended.

Among the pending complaints is the triple murder case that occurred in Arona (Tenerife) in which a young man will be tried for allegedly killing all the members of his adoptive family in cold blood. In addition, the murder of a baby in the municipality of La Orotava at the hands of his parents is also pending. For both cases, the Public Prosecutor requests a reviewable permanent prison sentence. Judicial sources have confirmed to SER that the aforementioned procedures will be held in June. Another of the trials that must be resumed, in this case in the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Palace of Justice, is the so-called ‘Stratus’ case since the testimony of 25 witnesses in the case was postponed due to the appearance of the pandemic and the declaration of the state of alarm last March.

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