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CRIME

German expat dies in brutal Majorca robbery

A German pensioner has died after he was beaten, tied up, and then robbed along with his wife in his home on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca.

German expat dies in brutal Majorca robbery
A beach on the Spanish island of Majorca. File Photo: Not quite there yet/Flickr

The couple were attacked in Majorca on Friday evening with police finding them hours later, on their bathroom floor. Their hands and feet were bound.

Sixty-five year old Rainer Völker was pronounced dead when police arrived at 11pm, while his wife was taken to hospital to be treated for head injuries and shock.

Local daily Diario de Mallorca said the criminals had been searching for the proceeds of a restaurant sale carried out by the couple from Hamburg months earlier.

The couple had apparently sold their restaurant business in Majorca's Cala Millor for €300,000 months to Russian businessmen.

The pair had just sold up and retired, before moving to a quieter area. 

Diario de Mallorca said the criminals had believed that more than half of the sale proceeds were still in the couple's home.

The robbers ransacked the couple's home, even taking apart air conditioner units and electrical switches but left jewellery and €1,000 in cash on the premises, the daily reported.

It is not known what loot — if any — they carried away with them.

Police are still investigating the case with police sources saying there were injuries all over Völker's body. The cause of death has not been established. 

His 67-year-old wife remains in hospital.

The gangsters are believed to have broken into the flat through a broken garage door, according to German news agency dpa.

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CRIME

Shock as Spain tells foreigners how to cancel their criminal record 

Spain's Justice Ministry has caused outrage after it sent out a tweet explaining how foreign nationals can cancel their criminal record online themselves in order to gain Spanish citizenship. 

Shock as Spain tells foreigners how to cancel their criminal record 

It may seem like a dark joke sent out by a disgruntled civil servant, but Spain’s Justice Ministry has indeed informed the country’s 6 million foreigners – including those who’ve committed crimes in the past – how to wipe their criminal history from the system.

“Criminal records can be a problem when it comes to obtaining Spanish nationality or applying for or renewing residence permits,” the ministry headed by Pilar Llop tweeted on Sunday. 

“Here we explain step by step how to request the cancellation of criminal records,” the Justice Ministry went on to say, followed by a link to a video describing the process. 

In the video posted on June 7th 2022, which has so far more than 24,000 views, a narrator goes on to explain that through the digital transformation process that the Justice Ministry is currently undergoing, it’s possible for anyone to personally and officially delete their own criminal record.

“That means that your sentence can be cancelled without you having to apply for it,” the video stressed.

This reportedly applies to both criminal records and sexual conviction records.

Logically, the tweet has caused a mix of incredulity and anger on the Spanish twittersphere, with comments such as “they’re mad”, “is it a joke?”, “God save us” or “instead of kicking foreign criminals out they’re helping them”.

The truth is that the possibility of expunging a criminal record in Spain has already existed for 27 years, as has the option of a foreigner with a criminal record being able to obtain Spanish nationality.

What has changed is the possibility of an automated system allowing citizens, Spanish nationals and foreigners alike, to carry out the expunging process online themselves, rather than having to apply for the Justice Ministry to do it for them. 

What’s also novel, many would say alarming, is that Spain’s Justice Ministry has made this public knowledge to many more people in Spain after their tweet went viral. 

Artículo 136 of Spain’s Penal Code allows people with a criminal record to cancel it once a certain period of time has elapsed and if they have not committed any other felony since the initial sentence. 

For those with minor sentences, the criminal record can be removed after six months whereas for serious crimes (5+ years in prison) the wait is ten years, higher if they’re charged with more than one crime. 

However, there doesn’t appear to be any lifetime prohibition from expunging criminal records for those who have committed the most heinous crimes, meaning that foreign rapists, murderers and paedophiles could technically cancel their criminal records if they met the aforementioned conditions and become Spanish nationals.

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