They investigate a WhatsApp group that Juana Rivas’ lawyer shared with journalists after a complaint by the judge in the case

The Court of Instruction 5 of Granada has ordered an investigation of the WhatsApp group created by Juana Rivas’s lawyer, Carlos Aranguez, and in which more than a hundred journalists participate. Said forum is a channel in which the lawyer has shared the news regarding the different litigations of his client, for which the judge, at the request of a complaint filed by the magistrate Manuel Piñar against Aranguez for insults, has decided to investigate in the same.

Juana Rivas’s lawyer is suspended for describing the judge who sent her to prison as “biased”

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The origin of this investigation is in the lawsuit that Judge Manuel Piñar has filed against lawyer Carlos Aranguez, understanding that he has exceeded his powers and has publicly accused him of “prevarication” and ignoring the presumption of innocence. Piñar was the judge who sentenced Juana Rivas to five years in prison for the abduction of her two minor children between the first of 2016 and the summer of 2017. From the beginning of the legal case, Rivas’ defense has maintained that the magistrate has deliberately acted against his client.

The tension has been growing in recent months between the parties, especially when Manuel Piñar came to issue an order in July 2021 in which he opposed the partial pardon that the central government finally granted him a year ago. Piñar argued that Rivas had not shown remorse and that he could reoffend, among other things, even having the support of the Prosecutor’s Office, which also did not agree that the Granada-born woman could obtain this judicial grace.

Precisely because of these episodes, Carlos Aranguez, defense attorney for Juana Rivas, has argued on several occasions that the magistrate has been “partial” in this case and that he has not acted in good faith. An issue that, according to the complaint filed by Piñar, has been revealed on several occasions in the WhatsApp group that the lawyer has with a hundred journalists. Therefore, the investigating judge has agreed to investigate said forum to clarify what happened.

Accused of “prevarication”

Making it clear that it is not intended to “investigate the journalists who reported on the Juana Rivas case, but to verify that news was disseminated in a WhatsApp group”, the order, to which Andalucía has had access, does point to various media communication and a journalist for disseminating news about the case and asking if, in Aranguez’s opinion, a case of prevarication was taking place. A question to which the lawyer responded in the group that, in effect, it was “an evident continued crime of prevarication”. The judge intends to investigate those indicated and obtain the name and the medium for which the rest of the professionals work.

“He accuses my representative of committing a crime of continued prevarication before the entire group of 103 journalists, since the conversations were accessible to all. It stands out in said conversation that the defendant ignores the presumptive, despite being asked about it, and already passes sentence omitting, in the first place, that everyone has the right to the presumption of innocence, when qualifying the aforementioned pardon process as a crime of continued prevarication, with total disregard for the presumption of innocence that he has proclaimed so much for his client, ”says the defense of Manuel Piñar in his complaint. At the same time, he questions the qualification of Juana Rivas’s lawyer to be able to practice.

45 day suspension

In this regard, the Granada Bar Association has suspended the lawyer for 45 days at the request of Judge Manuel Piñar himself. This institution considers that it is true that Aranguez has behaved in an “inconsiderate” and “disrespectful” manner when he has alleged on several occasions that Piñar has acted against Juana Rivas with “manifest partiality.” A matter for which the lawyer does not rule out going to the Constitutional Court, understanding that there is an evident “bias” in the judge’s actions against feminist policies and the legislation that exists to that effect.

Regarding the complaint and the investigation of the WhatsApp group, the investigating judge agrees to investigate not only Juana Rivas’s lawyer, but also two media outlets and a journalist who are in said forum. In any case, judicial sources insist that the will is not to investigate all the communicators who participate in the massive group, but to “verify” that the news referred to by the complainant against Carlos Aranguez, Rivas’s lawyer, was disseminated.