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CRIME

Mystery over Danish tourist death in Spain

The husband of a Danish woman has been arrested after she was found dead with bruises and wounds in a hotel room in southern Spain.

Mystery over Danish tourist death in Spain
The body of a Danish tourist was found in the Spanish holiday resort of Torre del Mar. Photo: Tyk/Wikimedia

Spanish police are investigating the death of a Danish tourist, who was found dead with signs of violence in a popular tourist spot on the Malaga coast.

The woman’s husband, also a Danish national, raised the alarm at the reception of the four-star BQ Andalucía Beach Hotel, in Torre del Mar, on Sunday morning.

He went to reception at 9am and told staff his wife was having trouble breathing, hotel director, Andrés Guerrero confirmed to local newspaper, Malaga Hoy.

When hotel staff went up to the fifth floor room with the 50-year-old Danish man, they discovered his wife´s dead body lying on the bed and immediately called police and an ambulance.

Sources close to the investigation confirm that the woman had bruises and wounds and that there was blood on the bed sheets. The body appeared to have been dead for some time and the room was disorganized and messy.

The woman’s husband appeared disorientated and nervous, including exhibiting signs of drunkenness, the same source confirmed.

The husband was arrested and is due to appear before a judge on Monday or Tuesday; police are investigating whether the death was murder.

The woman was found in a hotel in Torre del Mar on Spain's southern coast. 

The woman’s body was taken to Malaga’s Institute of Forensic Anatomy where an autopsy will be carried out on Monday to clarify the cause of death.

The couple checked into the hotel on Saturday without having made a reservation. They were accompanied by a third person who took a separate room and all three were due to check out on Sunday.

The Danish foreign ministry has confirmed the reports to the Danish press. 

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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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