PAROT DOCTRINE

Killers walk free after European ruling as lawyer bids to keep teen murderer in jail

Emilio Muñoz was serving 43 years for the kidnap and murder of a young Madrid woman Juan Manuel Valentín was jailed for 63 years for killing nine-year-old Olga Sangrador in 1992

Valencia / Toledo -
Juan Manuel Valentín Tejero leaves the Herrera de La Mancha penitentiary on Wednesday.
Juan Manuel Valentín Tejero leaves the Herrera de La Mancha penitentiary on Wednesday. mariano cieza moreno (EFE)

Emilio Muñoz Guadix and Juan Manuel Valentín Tejero walked free from jail on Wednesday on the orders of the Toledo and Valladolid provincial courts, which applied the recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling on the so-called "Parot doctrine" to each inmate.

Muñoz was serving 43 years for the kidnap and murder of young Madrid woman Anabel Segura in 1993. Tejero was jailed for 63 years for killing nine-year-old Olga Sangrador in 1992. Muñoz said on leaving the Herrera de La Mancha penitentiary that he was sorry for the crimes he committed and no longer posed a threat to society. Tejero did not speak to reporters but psychiatric reports compiled during his sentence concluded that he "will leave prison posing exactly the same level of danger as when he entered."

The ECHR ruling, handed down in October, forced Spain's judiciary to repeal the Parot doctrine, a legal mechanism by which sentence reductions for participating in courses and workshops were applied to each individual conviction rather than the maximum 30-year term stipulated in the 1973 penal code.

Ricart received a 170-year sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of three teenage girls

Since the ruling, more than 50 prisoners serving lengthy terms have been released, many of them ETA terrorists. It was the appeal of Inés del Río, a member of the Basque organization's Madrid cell that unleashed a bloody campaign in the capital in the 1980s, that prompted the ECHR decision. The Solicitor General's Office on Wednesday filed a motion to prevent the release of notorious criminal Miguel Ricart, who received a 170-year sentence in 1997 for the kidnap, rape and murder of three teenage girls from Alcàsser, Valencia, in 1992.

In a written statement to the Valencia provincial court, the Solicitor General's Office said the ECHR resolution was to be applied on an "individual" basis. It also requested that the court draw up a new report on the sentence reductions applied to Ricart's sentence. With the Parot doctrine removed, his term was set to expire in 2011, whereas with it in place he would have remained incarcerated until 2023. If the court decides to release Ricart, he could walk free within hours of the ruling.

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