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Justice? Spanish court suspends jail term for man who killed thief

A nightclub worker who was handed two years jail for killing a thief in a case that made waves in Spain has had his prison sentence suspended, a court said Monday.

Justice? Spanish court suspends jail term for man who killed thief
Photo: JanPietruszka/Depositphotos

Far-right party Vox had come to the defence of the man, calling him a “hero” for “having helped a woman” whose purse was stolen by the thief in February 2015 in the southern town of Fuengirola near Malaga.

But rightwing newspaper El Mundo reported that the man, identified as Borja W.V., “took justice into his own hands” and urged respect for the law.   

READ MORE: Hero or hoodlum? Spain split over fate of youth who killed thief to save woman 

On Monday, the court in Malaga that initially handed out the jail sentence said it had decided to suspend it for four years, during which Borja cannot commit another offence.

In February 2015, Borja, then aged 22, chased and punched a man in the head who had just stolen the woman's purse. The man died two days later from a brain hemorrhage.

The Malaga court in December 2018 sentenced Borja to two years in jail and ordered that he pay €180,000 ($200,000) in compensation to the victim's two daughters.

An appeals court upheld the ruling in April.   

In Spain prison sentences of two years or under do not usually result in prison time being served if the convicted person has no previous criminal record.

But by June, Borja had only paid €6,000 and was facing jail.

Vox last week launched a crowd-funding campaign to help him pay and avoid jail, shining a spotlight on the case.

On Monday, the Malaga court said that apart from suspending the jail sentence, it had ordered Borja to pay €250 a month in compensation, if he has the means to do so.   

The judge noted that he had not committed another offence since the incident and was not a “criminal risk”.

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CRIME

Spanish police seize 4.5 tonnes of cocaine off Canaries

Spanish police announced on Saturday the seizure of 4.5 tonnes of cocaine aboard a Togolese-flagged cargo ship from Latin America which was intercepted off the Canary Islands.

Spanish police seize 4.5 tonnes of cocaine off Canaries

The “Orion V”, which transported cattle from Latin America to the Middle East, had been under surveillance for over two years and had previously been “checked and searched, but no drugs could be found inside, despite the presence of sufficient clues”, police said.

A joint naval and air operation finally made the breakthrough locating the cocaine on Tuesday, hidden in a container used to feed the cattle.

The operation mobilised among others the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre for narcotics (MAOC-N), the Togolese authorities and the Spanish police.

The 28 crew members from nine countries were arrested.

The “Orion V” was similar to another Togolese-flagged vessel, the “Blume”, which was intercepted in mid-January in the same area south-east of the Canary Islands, on which the same amount of cocaine was found.

A total of nine tonnes of drugs have been seized in January, police said in a statement.

Spain’s proximity to North Africa, a key source of hashish, and its close ties with former colonies in Latin America, the world’s main cocaine-producing region, have made it a gateway into Europe for drugs.

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