Sunday 29 March 22:44

Divina Providencia - Court case adjourned until January

Author: GBC

Date: 21 September 2012 at 02:17

The court case involving the owner of the Divinia Providencia was mentioned on Friday. Fernando Gomez Elias, who faces allegations of breaching the Nature Protection Act, wasn’t in court, but was represented by his lawyer, Patrick Canessa. Outside court, Mr Canessa was met with a battery of Spanish reporters and local activists. The case has been adjourned until January.

A handful of local protesters wearing ‘Defenders of Gibraltar’ T-shirts set up shop on the doorstep to the Magistrates' Court. They wielded placards calling for Spain to stop bullying Gibraltar and for fishermen to respect its laws, and called out for all passing vehicles to beep their horns in agreement.

The mention itself lasted just over a minute, but attracted a lot of attention from journalists from across the border. Some even set up live transmissions with satellite vans. As for the defendant himself, he didn’t have to physically turn up, as this was just a summons. GBC understands he was actually out in the Bay on the Divina Providencia, fishing.

His lawyer, Patrick Canessa, appeared before the Stipendiary Magistrate, Charles Pitto, and asked for an adjournment, so he could request the docket of evidence from the police. The Attorney General, Ricky Rhoda QC, said the docket could take some time to produce.

As he emerged from the court building, Mr Canessa was approached by the Defenders of Gibraltar. There was a brief and respectful exchange, in which one of the activists expressed the view that the defendant was being used as a puppet by the Spanish Government. She also told Mr Canessa she was concerned that the Spanish Media, who were recording the conversation, would twist their words.

The court case has been adjourned until the 18th January.

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