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Top Spanish writer fined €200K for plagiarism

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Top Spanish writer fined €200K for plagiarism
Pérez-Reverte labelled the court's ruling as an “ambush” and a means of “extortion to get money out of me after ten years.” Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP
10:36 CEST+02:00
Highly-acclaimed Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte has coughed up more than €200,000 in damages after he was found guilty of copying a movie script.

The writer and academic, hugely popular in the Spanish-speaking world for his Alatriste novels, was first accused back in 2003 of stealing scriptwriter Antonio González-Vigil’s screenplay “Gitano”, Gypsy in English.

Pérez-Reverte, a native of the south-eastern Spanish province of Murcia, has put an end to a decade-long court saga by paying up to the tune of €212,529 for his alleged plagiarism.

“The Provincial High Court of Madrid has ignored two mercantile court sentences and five on the part of Spain’s Society of Authors and Publishers, SGAE, which found me not guilty,” he told national daily El Mundo on Tuesday.

Pérez-Reverte labelled the court’s ruling as an “ambush” and a means of “extortion to get money out of me after ten years.”

The former war correspondent told national daily ABC that scriptwriter González-Vigil has been “threatening and harassing me since 2010.”

The initial fine agreed upon in 2011 was €80,000, but according to Pérez-Reverte, “given the current state of affairs” González-Vigil put pressure on the Provincial High Court to raise the sum for economic and moral damages.

Gitano was shot in 2000, starring flamenco dancer Joaquín Cortés and French model Laetitia Casta.

The film, which deals with the confrontation between two gypsy clans, is given a 3.8 by movie site IMDB. 

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