Crime & Justice

Twitter user handed fake news sentence in Spain first

Barcelona, Spain, Nov 8 (EFE).- A Spanish man who tweeted a video of a violent assault on a woman in China but falsely claimed it had been carried out by a migrant in a Catalonia town was handed suspended prison time and a fine on Tuesday in what was the country’s first sentencing for spreading fake news.

The convict, identified as J.M.,a member of Spain’s Guardia Civil police force, admitted to the crime and accepted the sentence, which included a 1,620-euro (roughly $1,618) fine, doled out by the Barcelona court on Thursday.

The prison sentence was suspended on the condition that he completes a course on equality.

Spain’s first fake news convict also agreed to close his social media accounts.

The 45-second video in question showed a man viciously beating a woman before trying to remove her trousers and then dragging her on the floor by her hair.

The convict uploaded the video to his Twitter page on July 1, 2022, with the tweet: “Here you have the video of the Moroccan MENA (unaccompanied foreign minor) in Canet de Mar, it’s these people who we’ll pay benefits to until they are 23…”

The incident caught on camera did not occur in Canet de Mar but instead took place in China, in June 2019. The footage had been published by authorities in a bid to identify the assailant.

The convict’s Twitter profile contained a number of racist remarks and disinformation directed at migrants, as well as Celtic symbols that have been appropriated by far-right and neo-Nazi groups and a slogan used by the Klu Klux Klan. EFE


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