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Monday, September 8, 2008


The judge Rafael Tirado will face a disciplinary hearing this Wednesday and learn what punishment he will receive for his lack of action which could have led indirectly to the murder of four-year old Mari Luz Cortes in Huelva in January of this year.

The alleged killer, Santiago del Valle, was given a prison sentence in November 2002 by the Sevilla court that is headed by Tirado. He was sentence to two years and nine months in jail for sexually abusing his own daughter. The sentence was confirmed by the Sevilla court in 2005 but Del Valle never went to jail. Had he done so then he may not have been free to kidnap (which he admits) and murder (which he denies saying her death was an accident) Mari Luz.

Since the facts surrounding the case have emerged Tirado has been in the dock with Mari Luz’s family assured that he would face disciplinary action. The instructor of the case against Tirado is recommending to the Consejo General del Poder Judicial that he should be fined 1,502 euros for a serious offence and not face the very serious charge sought by the prosecutor.

The instructor, Wenceslao Olea, argues that Tirado’s inaction is justified by the chaotic state of the court system in Sevilla. He believes the very serious charge should not apply simply because he did not pay more attention to the business of the court in ensuring that sentences were enforced.

Now the Consejo General del Poder Judicial will decide whether the 1,502 euros fine should be enforced or whether the prosecutor’s demand of three years suspension from office with the possible ceasing of his judicial career.

The father of Mari Luz, Juan José Cortes, says he believes that the prosecutor’s decision to deem the charge as “very serious” is the correct one. He added that people “can have confidence in the justice system if they know that when the judges make errors, they pay for them.”

Certainly with power should go responsibility and if the Consejo General del Poder Judicial deems that Tirado has been seriously negligent in running the Sevilla court then a suspension and not a light fine should be imposed. After all Mari Luz paid for his mistake with her life.

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