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Madrid Arena trial starts Tuesday
ThinkSpain , Friday, January 8, 2016

The inquest into the five deaths at the Madrid Arena on November 1st 2012 is scheduled to begin next Tuesday, three years and two months after the tragedy unfolded, and surrounded by almost unprecedented media attention.

15 people will stand in the dock as the public prosecutor attempts to unravel the events leading up to the deaths of five young women at a Halloween party at a public venue, which was clearly lacking in safety and security provisions.

As well as the five charges of manslaughter, 13 of the accused will also be facing 16 charges of causing grievous injury through criminal negligence, whilst the other two will be facing charges of negligent homicide.

According to the victims' families, the charges are inadequate as the defendents will only be facing between two and four years in prison for their criminal actions.

Compensation in the region of 240,000 euros is being sought for the families of the fatal victims, and 259 euros for victims injured trying to escape from the overcrowded venue.

The main defendent, event promoter Miguel Ángel Flores, denies allowing more people into the venue than its legal capacity (at least 22,800 compared with the 10,620 permitted, according to the prosecutor) and, in a written statement, also maintains that even if limits were exceeded, no legal link can be established between that fact and the death of the five young women.

No civil servants will be facing charges since the staff at the Madrid City Hall has changed since the tragedy occurred, a detail that has not gone unnoticed by the families of  Cristina Arce, Belén Langdon, Katia Esteban, Rocío Oña and María Teresa Alonso, the five young women who lost their lives that night.

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