Spain’s top court reduces prison time for Basques in brawl

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Supreme Court has reduced the prison sentences of eight people convicted of assault for beating up two police officers and their girlfriends at a bar.

Prosecutors argued at trial that the defendants targeted the off-duty officers in 2015 as part of a campaign to oust Spanish security forces and secure Basque independence.

The Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and said in a ruling published Wednesday that anti-police, anti-Spain discrimination hadn’t taken place so shouldn’t factor into the length of prison sentences.

The seven men and one woman originally received sentences of 2 to 13 years. The Supreme Court reduced them to between 1½ and 9½ years, saying the assault victims suffered physical and psychological damage in the bar brawl.

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The eight can appeal to Spain’s Constitutional Court.

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This story has been corrected to show the crime happened in 2015, not 2016.

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