Despite the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court that overturned the court order that lead to the infamous destruction of the Priors house in Vera, Luis Caparros (Mr Bulldozer) has made a public statement in which he claims that the C.C. ruling only applies to the execution of the order, and does not invalidate the basic illegality of the house or the outcome of the first court case.
The C.C. has ruled that the rights of the Priors were ignored when they were not properly informed of the original court process against the house, and as such says that the legal process that culminated in the destruction order is null. The case has been rolled back to the 2003 situation, which is when the Priors should have been informed that the case had started.
Basically, this means that the court has decided that the Priors should have been informed in 2003 that the Fiscalia had opened a case against them. Since they were not, the case should have been paralysed until they were found and allowed time for prepare a legal defense. Since this did not happen, all court proceedings after that date were ruled “null”. This does not open the door to compensation, it reopens the court case – if, this time around, the Priors can convince the Judge to issue a distinct ruling then they may have an opening to lodge an objection against the first demolition order.
The original court case went (aprox) as follows:
– The house was denounced as illegally built by government inspectors.
– The Public Prosecutor (Fiscalia) lodged a case against the house in the courts. Vera town hall called to testify and the building permit issued by the town hall was declared “null” (whether it was is a whole different story). Priors not informed of this and unable to lodge further paperwork or appeal.
No appeal being forthcoming, the Fiscalia proceeds to lodge an application for demolition of the illegal houses. As this was not contested (Priors still unaware of situation, it seems), it was granted by the courts and signed off by Mr Bulldozer, the (politician) and head of Urban Planning who had to order the bulldozers in.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s one thing for the courts to permit demolition and another for someone to have the political will to execute that order – which is why only the Priors house was knocked down, Caparros got cold feet after knocking that house down and didn’t continue with the rest of the demolition order. The order is now null – the case is rolled back to the argument over whether or not the Vera town hall building permit was illegal when issued (1999 I think, old Felix -mayor of Vera- continues to insist that it was legal when issued as it complied with the planning rules and plans then).