A judge has ordered a prisoner on remand to tweet every day for one month that he is guilty of defaming the head of a consumer group in Spain.
In what must rank as one of the most unusual punishments of recent times, Luis Pineda, the head of the Banking Services Association in Spain (Ausbanc), will be given access to the social media platform so that he can admit to having libelled Rubén Sánchez, the spokesman for Consumers in Action (Facua).
Pineda is on remand awaiting trial for fraud and corruption. He denies any wrongdoing.
The history of the case is that ‘Facua’ and other consumer groups made claims against Mr Pineda, prompting him to make claims of his own against Mr Sánchez.
A court in Seville, southern Spain, convicted Mr Pineda of the civil charge of attacking Mr Sánchez’s reputation with 57 libellous tweets, including Mr Pineda calling Mr Sánchez an “imbecile” and accusing him of corruption.
The judge’s sentence is the latest in a three-year legal battle between Mr Pineda and Facua.
A previous ruling found that Mr Pineda used dozens of articles in Money Market, which was published by Ausbanc, to attack Mr Sánchez and also published posters showing the Facua spokesman under the headline “Wanted”.
In 2014 a court ordered Mr Pineda to pay compensation to Mr Sánchez of €80,000 (about $85,000) and to tweet ten times that he had defamed him.