The Spanish High Court has acquitted the frontman of Madrid rap-rock band Def con Dos, Cesar Montaña Lehman (stage name César Strawberry), of charges of glorification of terrorism and humiliation of victims after a series of tweets in which he praised Spanish anti-capitalist terrorist group GRAPO.
Although the court ruled to acquit him, one magistrate said that the accused should have been convicted of glorification of terrorism
He also made jokes about certain high-profile victims of attacks carried out by the Basque separatist and terrorist group ETA, such as José Antonio Ortega Lara, a former Spanish prison officer who was kidnapped and held hostage for 532 days, and Eduardo Madina, a Socialist politician who lost a leg after ETA planted a bomb under his car.
The court ruled that the statements posted by the singer on Twitter do not constitute defense of terrorism or provoke hateful discourse, as the prosecutor had argued during the trial.
The court concludes that the song lyrics of the now-acquitted musician are provocative, ironic and sarcastic, addressing “the current social and political reality with a critical tone, with the goal of making the public understand that the artist’s work is shrouded in the metaphorical and the fictitious, while his character at its core is peaceful and seeks only to encourage cultural conversation.”
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After analyzing all of the tweets in question, the court has concluded that Strawberry’s actions do not fall foul of Spain’s criminal code. Although the court ruled to acquit him, one magistrate, Nicolás Poveda, said that the accused should have been convicted.
Among other messages published between November 2013 and July 2014, Strawberry posted: “The outright fascism of Esperanza Aguirre, Populist Party politician, makes me long for even GRAPO;” and: “Street Fighter, post-ETA edition: Oteda Lara versus Eduardo Madina.” The singer retweeted (thus “making it his own,” according to the court) this other comment: “Is it okay to wear a shirt with a picture of Miguel Ángel Blanco?” Blanco was a Populist Party politician kidnapped and murdered by ETA in 1997. “I’m asking out of respect, and also because it’s hot,” the tweet continued.
English version by Allison Light.