28 - 03
The Spanish Courts have so far ignored the request to identify the Judge of the High Court (Audiencia Provincial) of Las Palmas (Spain) who made xenophobic and offensive remarks in the courtroom during a deliberation with three other judges.
The tape of the conversation taking place between judges Salvador Alba, Emilio Moya and Carlos Vielba was uncovered by Spanish newspaper Canarias 7. The audio log, containing racial slurs against citizens of Russia, Italy and Romania among others, and misogynic expressions is publicly available, and was aired on Spanish national TV stations.
Despite the media outcry, the Spanish Ministry of Justice has so far taken no steps to remove or otherwise sanction the involved judges. Furthermore, it has even ignored the request, lodged by the Consulate of Russian Federation in Las Palmas, to identify the judge who made the offensive remarks.
During an interview on aired Spanish National Television (TVE), Mr. Jose Antonio Penichet, the attorney of the Consulate, raised the question of whether the xenophobic attitude of Las Palmas judiciary is to blame for a flagrantly unjust treatment of the family of Spanish entrepreneur of Russian-Jewish origins, also known as “The Kokorev Case”. Vladimir Kokorev, as well as his wife and son, remain in pre-trial detention in Las Palmas (Spain) on unclear charges and without access to the case file for already over 18 months, with no expectation of a trial or even a formal accusation.
The pre-trial detention is ostensibly motivated by the judge Ana Isabel de Vega Serrano by “high flight risk”, which decisions have been confirmed by the High Court of Las Palmas.
Mr. Penichet argued that Vladimir Kokorev and his family members, with no prior convictions or criminal records, had voluntarily consented the extradition to Las Palmas from Panama, where they remained on bail for several months without any attempts to escape. Furthermore, Vladimir Kokorev (66) had suffered serious medical problems in the past years: a heart attack, minor stroke and prostate cancer. Those medical issues, are further exacerbated by over a year and a half in prison.
“I am confident that if Vladimir had a Spanish family name, he would have not suffer the same treatment,” said Mr. Penichet.