Francisco Franco Martínez-Bordiú, known as Francis, and the eldest grandchild of Spain’s former dictator Francisco Franco, has escaped prison time over a 2012 road incident involving two Civil Guard officers. The Constitutional Court has refused to admit the appeal filed by one of the officers, which means the case will be permanently shelved.
According to the court writ, to which EL PAÍS has had access, the justices did not consider the appeal to have the “special constitutional transcendence” required to be heard in the Constitutional Court.
In 2018, Martínez-Bordiú was originally sentenced to 30 months in prison for attacking law-enforcement officers and for reckless driving by a lower criminal court in Teruel, in Spain’s eastern region of Aragón.
Martínez-Bordiú was accused of reckless driving and attacking law enforcement officers
The conviction concerned an incident that took place on the night of April 30, 2012, when the Civil Guard tried to stop a car that was driving with its lights off, down the wrong side of the road on the N-234 highway. The driver ignored the signals and fled the scene.
The Civil Guard officers pursued the vehicle for 30 kilometers and caught up with it at a spot between Collados and Laguerruela. Once the car had stopped, a passenger pointed a shotgun at the officers, while the driver reversed and plowed into their patrol car before racing away. One of the officers was injured in the crash. The vehicle, which was found five hours later, was registered under the name of a company owned by Francisco Franco Suelves, the son of Martínez-Bordiú.
In February 2018, a criminal court in Teruel ruled that Martínez-Bordiú was the driver of the vehicle, basing the decision on a statement provided by one of the officers, who said he recognized Franco’s grandson as the person driving the car. Martínez-Bordiú appealed the decision and was acquitted by the provincial court of Teruel, on the basis that there was “insufficient evidence” to undermine the presumption of innocence.
English version by Melissa Kitson.