Annual Report of the Spanish General Prosecutor´s Office 2017 – Some figures re Specialised Unit Protecting Heritage

The Spanish General Prosecutor´s Office has recently issued its Annual Report 2017, containing most relevant features of the work carried out by the Spanish Prosecutors in 2016.

Full text of the Annual Report is available here.

Chapter III Section (3) of this Annual Report describes the activities performed in 2016 by the Specialised Unit on Environment, Urban Planning and Cultural Heritage. Relevant facts and figures on this Specialised Unit, in the particular area of Cultural Heritage, are as follows:

  • In 2016, a total of 174 Prosecutors are attached to this Specialised Unit, among which 50 are Delegated and 124 Specialists, including 14 Liaison Prosecutors, the Head of Unit (D. Antonio Vercher, Fiscal de Sala del TS) and 3 Prosecutors attached to him.
  • The Prosecutors of this Unit have participated as speakers in a wide range of conferences, workshops and training courses, including inter alia an International Conference on Cultural Heritage at the College of International Studies in China (Southwest University, Chongqing) and the Annual Meeting of this Specialised Unit (Madrid).
  • In 2016, this Specialised Unit started a total of 2.499 preliminary investigations (diligencias de investigación), among which 83 were related to Cultural Heritage. In 2015, the Unit initiated 2.232 preliminary investigations among which 52 were related to Cultural Heritage.
  • Also in 2016, a number of 4.016 criminal proceedings on environment, urban planning and cultural heritage were ongoing at the Spanish judicial courts, including 220 crimes related to the destruction or illicit trafficking of cultural goods. In 2015, the number of ongoing criminal procedures on the above mentioned matters were 5.332, including 527 cases on Cultural Heritage.
  • The same year 2016, the Specialised Prosecutors delivered a total of 1.472 formal charges (escritos de acusación), among which 30 were related to Cultural Heritage. In 2015, from a total of 1.125 formal charges  delivered by the Specialised Unit, a number of 31 were related to Cultural Heritage.
  • In 2016, a total of 975 judicial convictions on crimes pursued by this Specialised Unit were issued, including 21 convictions on cultural heritage. In 2015,927 judicial convictions on crimes pursued by this Specialised Unit were issued, including 16 convictions on Cultural Heritage.
  • Lastly, in 2016 a total of 251 acquittals (sentencias absolutorias) were issued by the Spanish judicial courts on matters pursued by these Specialised Unit, among which 4 were related to Cultural Heritage. In 2015, from a total of 258 acquittals a number of 11 were related to Cultural Heritage.