Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bearing Witness

I was reminded once again this week how useless the judicial system is here. I had witnessed a fight about eighteen months ago and had been interviewed by the police. On Thursday I had to go to the juzgado in Almería - the courthouse - to tell the judge 'yep' and 'indeedy' when asked if I was me and was this 'ere statement true.
So, a trip to the Big Al to hang around in the pasillos outside the juzgado penal number two. There are no chairs for the large number of fiends, friends, families, witnesses, lawyers, funcionarios and hangers on, so I sat on the floor and read my book. You can't not attend, forgive the double negative, or you'll get fined.
Never ever go anywhere in Spain without a book. Especially a grammar. I keep War and Peace in the car for these occasions. In the original Russian.
So, two hours late, the clerk comes out and announces to los interesados - me and some dangerous looking kid (and his appallingly dangerous looking family) - that the case had been postponed until next March as the kid's lawyer hadn't shown up.
A whole morning lost for nothing.
Spain's justice system is notoriously slow as this vignette illustrates.
Don't add to it by being a witness.

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