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Home > Legal Practise > No Perjury in Spanish Courts: Lie as Much as You Wish

No Perjury in Spanish Courts: Lie as Much as You Wish

February 18th, 2014

It was not that long ago that Jeffrey Archer was convicted for perjury and perverting the course of justice for lying in a libel case, when disputing allegations that he had paid for sex.

Archer had made two mistakes:

  1. To think that lying in Court was a preferable option than to admit he had performed -in the words of Justice Caulfield- ‘cold, unloving, rubber-insulated sex in a seedy hotel’.
  2. To lie in a UK Court, as a plaintiff.

Because had Mr. Archer’s strayed in Spain, or rather had he chosen to lie in a Spanish Court, no conviction could have ever been passed since, unlike most common-law systems, Spanish laws do not contemplate perjury as a criminal offence. In fact, quite the contrary: claimants and defendants are entitled, in fact expected, to lie in Court.

The key legal precept is article 24.2 of the Spanish Constitution that states, inter alia, the following: “…Likewise, all persons have the right to…no make self-incriminating statements…to not declare themselves guilty.”

But make no mistake as to who can lie in Court: witnesses will be prosecuted if they do so for ‘false testimony’ (falso testimonio), a charge that carries prison terms. Also, you can be charged with falsely reporting a crime if you employ deceit (denuncia falsa) and likewise, be convicted of a crime.

In everyday judicial practice, the above distinction can be easily noted: claimants and defendants are not required to give their statements under oath whereas witnesses will have been previously sworn (warned too).

In my opinion, creating two types of liars (those who are allowed to and those who aren’t) causes Court cases to become protracted because defendants will be less prone to admit liability, even if wrongdoing is obvious, just because there are no legal consequences to prevaricating.

A recently example about this relates to two Luxembourg-based bankers who were deposed in Court: they lied shamelessly about their involvement in an Equity Release case and so did the representative for the bank, who was close to denying that their own publicity that was no longer available (yet still traceable via www.waybackmachine.com) was ever produced. I doubt these bankers would have chosen to mislead if they were tried in English Courts.

About Antonio Flores

Antonio Flores is the head lawyer at Lawbird, a Spanish law firm specialised in property and litigation. More on .

Legal Practise , , ,

  1. Justice for Pensioners
    February 28th, 2014 at 13:47 | #1

    Mr Antonio Flores

    Thank you for providing a continuing flow of very important information.

    Our hearts go out to those who were robbed by these despicable banks and their contemptible employees.

    Unfortunately Luxembourg “regulators” are not the only tax haven “officials” to host and condone these scams.
    The Isle of Man has its fair share

    Connect the dots …

    Premier Group of Funds …. falsified glossy marketing brochures … bogus “financial advisors” … old people’s life savings or property … conned into signing illegal documents … realisation you have been robbed … misery, sickness and premature death.

    Robbing the elderly.
    All in a day’s work for the Isle of Man and Premier.

    Justice for Pensioners

  2. Justice for Pensioners
    February 28th, 2014 at 14:24 | #2

    Knowing that people can lie in Spanish Courts is one of the reasons why these fraudsters feel confident about getting away with robbery.

    Another reason is that the bogus “financial advisors” (operating in Spain and “selling” illegal funds hosted in loathsome “tax havens” such as Luxemburg and the Isle of Man) con their way into persuading their victims to reveal confidential financial information. Perhaps a few undeclared euros in an insurance policy or bank account back in the UK.

    Once an elderly victim, sometimes living alone, realises they have been conned these loathsome, pseudo financial advisors will try to keep them quiet by threatening disclosure to the Hacienda.

    But no matter how low these people are prepared to go they can never stoop as low as tax havens such as Luxembourg and the Isle of Man where there is little or no proper “regulation” and which actively provide safe accommodation for fraudulent financial “products” which are used to rob the elderly.

    This is where all the scams start and this is where they can be stopped.

  3. March 30th, 2014 at 16:30 | #3

    can you tell me is it true that all clients of Irwin mitchell in court of First instance number 11 of murica has lost the case aganist corvera golf

  4. July 24th, 2014 at 16:41 | #4

    I sued Trident Trust Company in Isle of Man for negligence.
    They lied and cheated and fabricated documents and could get away with it. I lost the case!
    I think they were in their home town and I was a foreign litigant in person, so I lost.
    Don’t bother to sue if you are the foreign party.
    Stronger parties usually win