THE family of Spain's longest-serving prisoner has lost its appeal for his release.
Using the habeas corpus principle, relatives of Miguel Montes Neiro hoped to bring his time in jail to an end, more than 50 years after he was first convicted.
Montes Neiro has never committed a violent crime, but his accumulation of sentences for various minor offences, such as petty theft, in his youth has led to him spending longer behind bars than any other inmate in history.
He is also seriously ill, and his relatives fear he may not get out alive.
But according to Montes Neiro's sister, Encarnación, the duty judge rejected the family's application for acquittal based upon the fact that the text of one of the sentences they presented as part of their case was a photocopy rather than the original document.
Encarnación calls this 'shameful', since she says that the court the duty judge works for has the original sentence document in its possession, but the court itself is closed because of its being a bank holiday.
The family considers his ongoing stay behind bars to be 'illegal and inconstitutional' and their lawyer, Martín Eliseo Rodríguez, criticises the 'slow, unjust and bureaucratic' nature of the Spanish justice system.
He said Granada court's inefficiency is denying his client two of his basic rights under the Spanish Constitution – the right to justice procedures 'without undue delay', and the right to liberty – given that the acquittal agreed by the previous national government and by the Supreme Court has not been applied by judges in Granada.