Spanish court sets eco-crime precedent
Spain's supreme court has fined and debarred from public office for eight years a local mayor who showed "wilful negligence" in licensing development that damaged a protected wetland area. The decision was welcomed by environmental groups as setting a major precedent, marking the first conviction in Spain of an individual over an environmental crime unconnected with damage to private property. Spanish courts would now have to take a tougher line on environmental crime, said NGO Ecologists in Action. The defendent, Cipria Fluixa, was mayor of Xeresa in Valencia. See Spanish supreme court.