On 10 March last year a fifty-year-old uniformed army commander was assaulted in Palma's Passeig Born. He had gone to a bank and as he was leaving two men started taking photos of him. He walked in the direction of the Almudaina Palace. The two followed him and continued to take photos. He stopped and asked them what they thought they were doing. He took out his phone and was on the point of calling the police when he was attacked.
The two accused appeared in court the next day and were released. They have now learned that they will go on trial, accused of hate crime as well as having injured the officer. A private prosecution has been brought against them, and the prosecution service itself is considering bringing its own charges.
The prosecution argues that the motive for the attack was ideological. This would justify the charge of hate crime. The two accused have always denied this. When they were arrested by the National Police, they asked to be forgiven and said that they had been drinking heavily and that the situation had got out of hand. Neither of them have previous convictions for assault and nor are they members of any radical group.
The army commander says that during the assault he was called a fascist. The incident was recorded on a mobile by a passer-by, and the recording will provide key evidence at the trial. The commander's lawyer is also demanding high compensation from the two for injuries that his client sustained.
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