Defending theHuman Rightto a Fair Trial
Anthony Reynolds, a British national who had moved with his family to Spain, was arrested on drug charges in Tenerife in December 2006. Spanish police told Anthony that if he did not admit to the charges, his wife would be imprisoned and their one-year-old daughter taken into care. Anthony denied any involvement in the offences. He believes that he was targeted for resisting local police extortion.
Anthony’s case was handled under the notorious “secreto de sumario” regime. Under this regime, a judge imposes secrecy on the investigation; defendants and their lawyers are denied access to information regarding the charges and the evidence until just before trial. This prevents defendants from obtaining effective legal assistance during detention and makes it impossible for them to prepare a defence or argue effectively for release pending trial.
Anthony was eventually released after spending almost four years in pre-trial detention. Once he was freed, Anthony was not allowed to work or receive benefits. He was acquitted at trial in June 2011. During his time in pre-trial detention, he lost contact with his wife and daughter. Anthony is now attempting to rebuild his life.
Last updated: 14 March 2013
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