A quarter of a century had passed since the civil war, but the bloodlust of Franco’s dictatorship was still insatiable, and on April 20, 1963 – the 60th anniversary last month – he executed him. Julian Grimau (Madrid, 1911-1963), member of the PCE Central Committee and leader of internal affairs since 1959.
If the history of justice under Franco’s regime is a caricature, his military justice is a tragic parade of arrogant giants and self-sacrificing people. Grimmau’s execution appears in the Universal History of Shame.
To begin with, Franco delayed the entry into force of the Court of Public Order (TOP), scheduled for April 5, in order to try him in a summary military court. Military jurisdiction required that it be apparent that at least one member of the room had a law degree; In this case, only Commander Manuel Fernández Martín, a prosecutor specializing in the law of political responsibility, known for his grim order to the cleaners in the canteens of the barracks: “Let the defendant’s widow come in!” – laughter from the court. . In fact, he was an impostor: when he joined the coup army, he claimed to be a lawyer and joined the military legal corps. He claimed that the “Reds” had burned his house and his title, and since it was 1936, the commanders had no way of verifying this if they were interested. But all this lover of death had passed was three courses of law at the University of Seville; When the fraud was discovered, Grimmau was killed a year earlier; The fraudster was sentenced to one year and six months in prison: the court found in mitigation that he “did not intend to cause significant harm”.
They were nothing but one of the biggest legal farces of the dictatorship.
Although Grimau had a civilian lawyer, Amedino Rodríguez Armada, Captain Alejandro Rebolo was appointed ex officio. despite They were not allowed access to the summary until three days before the trialWhile the bogus prosecutor had it three months earlier, the young officer made a flawless defense; So much so that after a while, on the “advice” of his superiors, he left the army. Rebolo had no doubt that the trial was a mistrial, and he made that point in his closing argument.
Grimau was accused of torture and murder during the war and of “continuing insurrection” since 1936. The Prosecution Court was unable to prove any charges or present evidence of Grimmau’s crimes under the direction of the Barcelona Criminal Investigation Brigade and the Czech Republic. One at the Plaza de Berenguer el Grande. The “witnesses” called by the court barely realized that it was hearsay or heard from third parties. As for the crime ad hoc The continuation of the rebellion was chronologically impossible: Grimau emigrated in 1939 and did not return to Spain until 1959, without entering the country at that time.
It did not matter, as everything in the five hours of the trial: the prosecutor interrupted the accused and the lawyer with the consent of the court and his arguments – “I acted under the order of the government of the Republic, the only legitimate one. for me. I lived poor in Spain and came out even poorer. “I have never killed or tortured anyone,” Grimmau said – neither of which were mentioned in the sentence, which was released hours later without discussion and, of course, being pre-written. He was to be ready for the Council of Ministers the next day to issue an “informed” statement—a euphemism for “shoot him”—on Grimmaux’s death sentence.
Grimaud was the latest victim of the military court apparatus established by the coup leaders for their repressive purposes. Limiting the “full power” of military courts began with TOP and ended with a general amnesty issued in 1969, ostensibly in response to international pressure. Grimau’s actions during the Civil War may have been somewhere between what he was credited with and what he claimed: his co-conspirators Jorge Semprun and Fernando Claudin took for granted the extreme repression he carried out against Barcelona’s “Fifth Column” and its members. Trotskyist POUM, split from the PCE, but, as in a military court, without evidence or direct testimony.
And the lack of evidence, as well as the vengeful stench that hung over the whole process, was what stirred the world against what was considered a state crime: Franco ignored violent demonstrations and pious universal petitions for clemency: after Kennedy postponed sine die his journey to Spain with the Queen of England and her Prime Minister Wilson; John XXIII of the Vatican – who recently published Pace in TerrisAn encyclical establishing human rights and public liberties under the rule of law – to the Queen Mother of Belgium, dozens of chancelleries and individuals, including the humble community of Swiss monks at St. Gallen… and an unusual request from Khrushchev, the president. The USSR, which had no contact with Franco’s government after the coup of 1936: “(…) no state interest can explain such an act for which, twenty-five years after the civil war, he can be tried in Spain. According to wartime regulations. Moved by humanitarian sentiments, I am writing to urge you urgently to set aside the said sentence and save Julian Grimau’s life.”
Franco lied: “A competent court, ‘full means of protection’, ‘absolute proof’, ‘to prohibit the execution of pardons, especially when many people are still alive, including the relatives of the victims, who have terrible memories of torture and murder’… and The same for others. Franco is in the last ditch of Dante’s eighth circle of hell “with the counterfeiters of metals, men, money, or words.”
In this gallery of eternal infamy, Manuel Fraga shines as the lead. Not just for inventing this “continuing insurgency” crime to avoid the 25-year statute of limitations failure, but for his brutal cynicism. After the Council of Ministers, Fraga withheld the “information” at a press conference and attended a reception at the Colombian embassy, where a distraught Joaquín Ruiz-Jimenez – former Minister of Education and founder of the journal Cuadernos para el Diálogo – and José Jimenez de. Parga, a labor lawyer who worked closely with Father Llano, a militant labor priest of the PCE, who made numerous pleas, visits and negotiations in favor of clemency, convinced them that “No worries, they weren’t going to shoot him”. It was about the same time that Grimmaux’s lawyers were informed that his client, who was shot at five o’clock in the morning, would attend.
Three shots in Grimmau’s neck and one in the Dictator’s leg
Civil Guard and Army officials refused to allow him to enter the firing squad due to technical problems, and he was executed by soldiers and three coups by the officer commanding the squad. But the stray bullet went straight to the bottom of the dictatorship.
The regime promised to be happy with the 1959 Opus Plan to Stabilize the Technocrats, but the 1960s began in great turmoil with brutal repression of generalized student strikes and their corresponding in the mining areas. exception status, a weapon that restricted the very limited rights of citizens and culminated in the IV Congress of the European Movement, in June 1962, which united the opposition to Francoism from abroad and at home, except for the PCE. Dubbed the “Munich Conspiracy” by the regime press, all this led to new exiles, arrests, fines, deportations and yet another international scandal. Pardon granted on account of publication Pace in Terris To the 118 politicians in attendance, he positively conveyed Franco’s goals: joining NATO with the support of the United States and the European Economic Community with France and England. But Grimaud’s firing squad finally closed all the doors and froze Spain’s total integration into Europe until the dictator’s death brought us closer.
Until 1968, Franco’s ruthless leaders did not want to reveal his widow, Angela Martinez. Lanzaco, where her husband was secretly buried in the Madrid Civil Cemetery. Grimeau would receive even more bullets: in 1990 the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court Rejected the appeal of the State Prosecutor General, Javier Moscoso, to repeal the sentence for the fraudulent composition of the Council of War; Only the president of the hall, the eminent jurist José Jimenez Villarejo, voted for nullity. Years later, in 2012, Izquierda Unida submitted a non-judicial proposal to the Congress of Deputies to rehabilitate the figure of Grimau.; Only the PP, which ruled with an absolute majority, voted against it: it, rightly, feared that the debate would reveal the diabolical maneuvers of its founder, Fraga, who had died three months earlier; So he left not only with oil paints, but also, contrary to popular sayings, without the democratic shake-up to which he was a creditor.
Source: El Diario