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Franco’s grandson avoids prison time over alleged police chase

Francisco Franco Martínez-Bordiú was convicted of a traffic incident during which a shotgun was pointed at two civil guards, but the case was quashed and will not be appealed

Francis Franco
Francis Franco arrives in court in 2016.

Francisco Franco Martínez-Bordiú, known as Francis, and the eldest grandchild of Spain’s former dictator Francisco Franco, has escaped prison time over a 2012 road incident involving two Civil Guard officers. The Constitutional Court has refused to admit the appeal filed by one of the officers, which means the case will be permanently shelved.

According to the court writ, to which EL PAÍS has had access, the justices did not consider the appeal to have the “special constitutional transcendence” required to be heard in the Constitutional Court.

In 2018, Martínez-Bordiú was originally sentenced to 30 months in prison for attacking law-enforcement officers and for reckless driving by a lower criminal court in Teruel, in Spain’s eastern region of Aragón.

Martínez-Bordiú was accused of reckless driving and attacking law enforcement officers

The conviction concerned an incident that took place on the night of April 30, 2012, when the Civil Guard tried to stop a car that was driving with its lights off, down the wrong side of the road on the N-234 highway. The driver ignored the signals and fled the scene.

The Civil Guard officers pursued the vehicle for 30 kilometers and caught up with it at a spot between Collados and Laguerruela. Once the car had stopped, a passenger pointed a shotgun at the officers, while the driver reversed and plowed into their patrol car before racing away. One of the officers was injured in the crash. The vehicle, which was found five hours later, was registered under the name of a company owned by Francisco Franco Suelves, the son of Martínez-Bordiú.

In February 2018, a criminal court in Teruel ruled that Martínez-Bordiú was the driver of the vehicle, basing the decision on a statement provided by one of the officers, who said he recognized Franco’s grandson as the person driving the car. Martínez-Bordiú appealed the decision and was acquitted by the provincial court of Teruel, on the basis that there was “insufficient evidence” to undermine the presumption of innocence.

Who is Francisco Franco Martínez-Bordiú?

Francis Franco.
Francis Franco.

Born in 1954, Francisco Franco Martínez-Bordiú, known as Francis, changed the order of his surnames in order to publicly maintain the Franco bloodline. He was wed to the Peruvian aristocrat María Suelves before getting divorced and marrying Miriam Guisasola. The couple have had a rocky relationship, however, having broken up and got back together on numerous occasions. They are currently separated. Francis heads the family businesses and is in charge of dividing the inheritance left behind by his mother. Among their most valuable assets is the family home where Carmen Polo lived and died, a building located on Hermanos Bécquer street in Madrid and valued at €50 million. He has also defended the legacy of his grandfather in a book he wrote entitled The nature of Franco. When my grandfather was a person.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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