The Spanish Supreme Court has revised the sentence that absolved a man from the crime of distributing child pornography online based on the prosecution’s lack of powers to disclose the defendant’s IP address, reports the local press.
In December 2008, the man had been convicted of possession of several hundred files containing sexual content with minors – including images of his wife’s daughter – but he was acquitted of the crime of child pornography distribution, and he was 6 months imprisonment.
At the time, the court found that the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not have the power to reveal the defendant’s IP address and use it in the process, so he was only condemned for the material he kept, but not for its online disclosure – which would imply application of a more severe penalty.
With the decision released today, the Supreme Court upholds the appeal filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and declares the sentence null and void with respect to the acquittal based on the impossibility of disclosing the IP, forcing the trial to be repeated.
The Supreme Court understood that not only does the Public Prosecutor’s Office, in this case, have the legitimacy to carry out the investigation using the IP address, but the identification of an Internet user does not «affect», «intercept» or expose a specific communication , seeking only to know who is the owner of the line in order to investigate the crime.