The family of Jose Couso, a reporter with Telecinco killed in 2003 during the Iraq war, has achieved a major victory in the courts. The National Audience just condemn the State to indemnify with about 182,000 euros to the widow and two sons of the journalist for not having provided diplomatic assistance to the U.S. "to repair the damage caused". In a Chamber judgment of the Contentious-administrative, dated the 11th of December, the judges underscored the fact that the Spanish Administration left the family of the journalist and "was limited to receiving and accepting the explanations offered by the united States".
"there are No performing any moves, not to the recognition of the illegality of the attack, but the repair of their property consequences in a reasonable manner. And this, in spite of the very numerous requests which were made by various parliamentary groups, as contained in the administrative record", continuing the judges in their resolution, where recall that the statement of the National Audience, corroborated later by the Supreme court, ruled that "the journalists located in the hotel could be confused with scouts, shooters or groups of shooters of the enemy."
Despite the fact that appreciated a possible criminal offence, the Spanish courts were forced to shelve the criminal case opened against the us military due to the cut in the universal justice adopted by the Government of Mariano Rajoy (PP). The decision was ratified later by the Constitutional Court to endorse the reform of the conservatives and that, just a month ago, the family has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. This way, although it has a relationship, is independent of the contentious-administrative.
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In this sense, the judgment of the National Audience of the past December 11, insists that the death of Couso occurred in circumstances that "constitute an unlawful international". "And the Spanish Administration was obliged to carry out the activity necessary to promote to the Status offender to repair the damage caused unlawfully, which is not made nor in the moments subsequent to the death or until the date," added the judges, explaining that the U.S. is merely stated that the "attack on the Palestine hotel was justified and that the death of Couso was a regrettable accident". A dereliction of duties, continues the resolution, which compromised the defence of the right to life and the exercise of the freedom of information specially protected by the Constitution.
The killing of Couso occurred at eleven in the morning of April 8, 2003, when a combat car of the united States fired a projectile of 120 mm against the Palestine hotel. According to the National court, it was impossible to confuse the journalists with enemies —"the combat car had elements of the vision with which you could see with total clarity to the people who were in windows and balconies of the hotel and the objects that they carried"—. In addition, the american army knew that in that building spent the night reporters.
After learning of the ruling of the Contentious-administrative, the environment of the family has stressed that its priority "has never been this way". "We seek to lay the murderers of Joseph. We want a trial, we want to create a precedent. The money purchase wills, which with us not home. We won't stop", have been exposed.