The Civil Division of the Supreme Court has held that the programme “En el punto de mira” did not violate the rights to honour, personal privacy and self-image of Francisco Franco’s grandchildren. The episode broadcast on the Cuatro television channel discussed the inheritance.
The Civil Division of the Supreme Court has held that the programme “En el punto de mira” did not infringe the rights to honour, personal privacy and self-image of Francisco Franco’s grandchildren. The episode aired on the Cuatro television channel dealt with inheritance.
The recent judgement 250/2023 of 14 February rejected the family’s appeal against the judgement handed down by the Madrid Provincial Court, which ruled in favour of the programme. They claimed 50,000 euros in compensation.
The lawsuit was directed against the two directors of the programme, Juan Serrano and Lorena Correa; three reporters – Pablo de Miguel, Juan Carlos González and Carla Sanz; investigative journalists Mariano Sánchez Soler and Javier Otero Bada; the former councillor of Sada (La Coruña) Carlos Babío; and journalist Jimmy Giménez Arnau, who was married to one of Franco’s granddaughters.
The lawsuit is also directed against Mediaset España Comunicaciones.
The magistrates have considered that the information broadcast is protected by the rights to freedom of information and expression. Moreover, the television programme deals with a matter of general interest and of a historical nature.
The episode focuses on four properties, namely the Pazo of Meirás, the Cornide house in A Coruña, the Canto del Pico palace in Torrelodones and the Valdefuentes hunting estate in Arroyomolinos. Throughout the programme, we talk about how the land became part of his estate and the destination given to it by his heirs.
ALL THE INFORMATION IS VERIFIED
The High Court has pointed out that all the information is verified because interviews were conducted with experts, relatives of affected persons, investigative journalists, history professors, documentation obtained from the Francisco Franco Foundation, historical research, press reports and documents with account statements.
Nor have they found a violation of the right to privacy because it discloses data found in public records.
For example, the ownership of certain properties, which have been the subject of prior information in the press and which constitute facts of interest as they derive from the inherited estate of the former head of state, without revealing intimate facts relating to the plaintiffs or corresponding to their private or strictly family sphere, mean that this fundamental right cannot be considered to have been violated either.
Finally, the dissemination of the plaintiffs’ image at public events or in television programmes to illustrate the information disseminated, in the context explained, does not exceed the limits of freedom of information or infringe the right to one’s own image.