Police talking to a man in Palma during lockdown. archive photo. | Ultima Hora

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People who were sanctioned for breaching the State of Emergency could be jailed for up to a year.

More than a dozen people went to preventive detention in March and April for violating quarantine. Those cases are being processed in the courts and some have already begun oral proceedings.

In most cases people were charged with a crime of disobedience and fined, but the Public Prosecutor is requesting harsher punishments for more serious cases.

A small group of people were arrested several times for wandering the streets and confronting Police. Cases where criminal proceedings have been filed and which will remain in administrative sanction, are those in which there was no prior request by the arresting Officer or other authority.

That was one of the requirements set by the Provincial Court in April which stated that going out into the street was not enough to justify a charge of disobedience unless the person was a repeat offender.

"It is only legitimate to resort to criminal law in the face of a seriously rebellious attitude towards compliance when a sanction has proved useless on a number of occasions," Magistrates said.

Trials

According to judicial sources, trials will take place in the coming months and penalties will only involve jail time for those who have a history of disobedience and serious cases such as resistance to authority.

In other territories breaches of the State of Emergency have already been punished with prison sentences.

In Palma, pre-trial detention was imposed on more than a dozen of the most outspoken offenders.

The Court later clarified the criteria and reserved that measure for repeat offenders.