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Parliamentary questions
1 July 2011
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sonia Alfano (ALDE) , Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE) , Oriol Junqueras Vies (Verts/ALE) , Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) , Rui Tavares (GUE/NGL) , Gesine Meissner (ALDE) , Arlene McCarthy (S&D) , Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D) , Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR) , Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE) , Britta Thomsen (S&D) , Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Kinga Göncz (S&D) and Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE)

 Subject: The Simone Righi case

‘Crazy’ is how the journalist of the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Rosa Montero, described the story of Simone Righi.

This young Italian, a resident of Bologna, travelled to Spain in late 2007 with his girlfriend and three dogs. He placed the dogs for a period of four days in the ‘El Refugio’ shelter in Cadiz. Four days later he went back to retrieve his dogs. They had to face a horrifying scenario: one of his dogs was dead and the other two were missing. On 7 October 2007, Simone Righi took part in a demonstration against the animal shelter (which was closed after several complaints of bad treatment). During this event Teófila Martínez, the Mayor of Cadiz, was allegedly assaulted by Simone Righi.

Following this episode, Simone Righi was remanded in custody for two months.

On 8 February 2011, Simone Righi was sentenced by the Court in Cadiz to four and a half years in jail for his alleged physical attack on the Mayor of Cadiz and for resisting a public official in the exercise of his duty. The sentence did not take into consideration, without apparent justification, the testimony of the journalist of the newspaper La Voz de Cádiz, Silvia Tubio, who was close to Simone during the aggression on the mayor. According to the witness, Simone Righi is innocent. Moreover, the Court gave no importance to a movie that clearly shows that Righi was arrested without resistance.

In light of the above:

1. Is the Commission aware of the Simone Righi case?
2. Can the Commission say whether Articles 47, 48 and 49 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union have been violated?
3. What measures does the Commission intend to adopt to ensure that every European citizen has the right to access to a lawyer, the right to communicate while in detention, the right to legal aid and the right to a really fair trial?

 OJ C 128 E, 03/05/2012
Last updated: 7 July 2011Legal notice