In a case that could perhaps only happen in the south of Spain, a judge in Seville has sentenced a defendant to repeatedly tweet the judgement against him for a month.
Luis Pineda, a consumers’ rights organisation head, has been found to have defamed another consumers’ right organisation, Facua, via tweets. He was found to have used Twitter to claim that Facua’s spokesman, Rubén Sánchez, was corrupt, had stolen from members, and committed fraud. The judge found that Pineda had published “humiliating and insulting remarks” which “evidently harmed his honour.”
Accordingly, the judge sentenced Pineda to tweet the judgement for 30 days between the peak Twitter hours of 9am-2pm and 5pm – 10pm along with paying damages and erasing the defamatory tweets.
When asked by a Twitter follower when he would begin his 30 days, he replied, “nunca” (never). He also tweeted “Celebrating a judicial victory with a sentence that can be appealed is like celebrating a wedding during the engagement,” foreshadowing his intentions.
It’s difficult not to read the bizarre sentence and see a lot of sense and a hint of ‘playground’ justice. Funnily enough, when dealing with the punitive legal recourse, the general public’s reactions aren’t too far off Sevillian judges. Begging the question: is it the lawyers or the public that are out of touch?