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Spain judge orders child rapist stay in jail

Judges remand Daniel Galvan Vina into custody days after public anger prompts Moroccan king to revoke his pardon.

Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 18:06
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A judge has remanded in custody a convicted child rapist who was arrested in Spain after a controversial pardon by Morocco's king was revoked in the face of angry protests.

The judge ruled that Daniel Galvan Vina, a Spanish national found guilty of raping 11 children aged between four and 15 in Morocco and sentenced to 30 years in prison there, was a flight risk and would remain in custody while his extradition was being considered, the court said.

Galvan lacked "family, social, economic or work links that would neutralise the temptation to put himself beyond the reach of the justice system if he was set free," Spain's top criminal court, the National Audience, wrote in Tuesday's ruling.

If this person had not mistakenly received a pardon, steps would have been taken for him to serve out the sentence in Spain.

Angel Llorente,
Spanish justice ministry

Galvan, 63, was arrested on Monday earlier at a hotel in the southeastern Spanish city of Murcia where he once worked at a university after Morocco issued an international arrest warrant against him.

Morocco is seeking the extradition of Galvan, who was among 48 Spanish prisoners pardoned by King Mohamed VI and freed last week from jail following a visit in mid-July to Morocco by Spain's King Juan Carlos.

The pardon was revoked by the king on Sunday, two days after baton-wielding police dispersed several thousand people who tried to rally in front of the parliament in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

A royal palace statement said the king had been unaware of the nature of Galvan's crimes, and on Monday the Moroccan monarch dismissed the director of prisons after an inquiry blamed his department for Galvan's release under royal pardon.

Spain's royal household said Juan Carlos had not asked for the release of Galvan or any other Spanish prisoner during his visit and had only shown interest in the wellbeing of Spanish nationals held in prisons in the North African country.

Spain and Morocco do not allow their citizens to be extradited to each other's country, and an exception would have to be made if he is sent back to the north African nation.

The case is also complicated by the fact that in Spain the government cannot revoke a pardon.

Galvan could serve out his sentence in Spain, a Spanish official said after talks on Tuesday with Moroccan officials in Madrid.

"It seems reasonable. If this person had not mistakenly received a pardon, steps would have been taken for him to serve out the sentence in Spain," said Angel Llorente, director of international cooperation at the justice ministry.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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