In an 8-page ruling, Judge Ismael Moreno Chamarro at the duty investigating court in Madrid ordered two puppet masters arrested on Friday to prison on remand, without bail, on charges of glorifying terrorism and inciting hatred.
He argued there were enough indications of criminal responsibility to jail Alfónso Lázaro de la Torre and Raul García Pérez for their actions on Friday evening.
The ruling confirmed some of the activities undertaken by the puppets controlled by the two men at the children's play included "the hanging of a doll dressed as a judge, the stabbing of policeman, the rape of a nun and her later stabbing with a crucifix".
A "small sign" with the slogan "Gora Alka ETA" was found on the men. The judge interpreted this as meaning not "Long live ETA", as is normally the case with the standard slogan "Gora ETA", but "Long live Al-Qaeda-ETA", two terrorist groups at once.
Children were the "main audience" of the play, said the judge, and their "horrified" parents either "left the place", "protested against the actors, stopping the play or "called the agents of authority".
The judge also said the "cover of a book called 'Against Democracy', by the Coordinated Anarchist Groups" had been found among their possessions.
The crime of glorifying terrorism carries a 1-3 year prison sentence under Article 578 of the Spanish Criminal Code, and the crime of inciting hatred "during the exercise of fundamental rights and public freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution" a prison sentence of 1-4 years under Article 510.
The defendants may appeal the ruling.
Madrid City Hall's culture councillor, Celia Mayer, announced on Saturday morning that she would sack carnaval programme managers in the Spanish capital "immediately" after they hired the pair, labelling the content "inappropriate for an infant audience": "we are absolutely outraged".
Madrid City Hall issued a statement on Friday evening saying the infants show had not been previewed by the art director in charge of programming 15 events for the carnaval in Tetuán.
Published: 12:20 pm, Feb 15 2016 (link)
Judge Frees Madrid Puppet Masters On Bail But Confiscates Their Passports
Judge Ismael Moreno Chamarro ordered the two puppet masters he had jailed on Saturday freed on bail on Wednesday afternoon, Spanish media reported, after the Public Prosector's Office reversed its recommendation and asked him to release Alfónso Lázaro de la Torre and Raul García Pérez but order the pair to specify a home address, to order them to appear before the court every day, to confiscate their passports and to prohibit them from leaving the country. Judge Moreno has ordered them to appear before the court daily and confiscated their passports. Cadena SER reported Mr. García's defence lawyer, Jaime Montero, had called the new measures "excessive" and "disproportionate".
Published: 12:21 pm, Feb 15 2016 (link)
Public Prosecutor U-Turns, Asks Judge To Release Madrid Puppet Masters From Prison
The Public Prosecutor's Office in Madrid reversed its initial position on Wednesday and asked judge Ismael Moreno Chamarro to free two puppet masters jailed on Saturday without bail on accusations of glorifying terrorism, multiple Spanish media outlets reported. The prosecutor alleges that the risk of Alfónso Lázaro de la Torre and Raul García Pérez committing the same crime again has diminished since the weekend, given police "impounded all of the material used in the play". The prosecutor now recommends bail for the two men but also wants the judge to order them to specify a home address, to order them to appear before the court every day, to confiscate their passports and to prohibit them from leaving the country. The two men were arrested on Friday evening after parents reported them to police for the tone and content of their infants' puppet play, and Judge Moreno ordered them behind bars on Saturday on suspicion of glorification of terrorism, alleging a small sign pinned to one of the puppets read "long live Al-Qaeda-ETA". A media and legal outcry followed.