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A man who shot several people in Spain asks for his right to euthanasia and a judge sets a precedent

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During the negotiation process, he injured two agents, but the shots he received in his arms and legs caused an irreversible spinal cord injury.

Dressed in a wig and a cap, the former security guard Marin Eugen Sabau entered the offices of the company where he worked in the city of Tarragona, in the Spanish community of Catalonia, on December 14, 2021, and began shooting at the employees.

According to He himself explained in an email sent to the security company, Securitas, from which he had been fired, that he was seeking “justice” for the “hell” his bosses had put him through. He left three workers injured.

Later, Sabau –known as ‘the gunman from Tarragona’– fled and barricaded himself in an abandoned house. During the negotiation process there was an exchange of fire between him and the Special Intervention Groups (GEI), an elite unit of the Mossos d’Esquadra (the Catalan regional police). He wounded two agents and the shots he received in his arms and legs caused an irreversible spinal cord injury .

Sabau was admitted to a penitentiary hospital in Terrassa, Barcelona, ​​and has an open procedure for several attempted homicide, attack on authority and illicit possession of weapons. From the medical center, he requested the euthanasia process, which was approved by the doctors.

But those injured in the attack wanted to stop the process so that the criminal case could advance. José Antonio Bitos, lawyer for the two injured Mossos, argued that “an alleged murderer should not avoid either trial or conviction through euthanasia.”

“Right to dignity”

However, this Thursday, the head of the Tarragona Investigation Court number 5, Sònia Zapata, decided that the intervention should go ahead.

According to the order, the judge considered that “there is no legal provision that allows an investigating judge to interfere in a process regulated in an Organic Law on fundamental rights.”

Zapata specifies that the law does not specifically regulate euthanasia applied to people who are in a situation of provisional detention or subject to a judicial proceeding of any kind. “In fact, only exclusions are foreseen in the case of minors or people who do not have the capacity to decide “, sentence .

The magistrate emphasizes “the right to physical and moral integrity, the right to dignity, the right to freedom and personal autonomy” versus “the right to effective judicial protection that the proposing party identifies with the ‘right to a fair trial'”.

The case is considered a precedent in Spain, where the euthanasia law entered into force last year and this country became the seventh in the world to regulate it, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Colombia and New Zealand.

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