Wednesday, August 31, 2011

IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE: JORDANIAN MILITARY OFFICER CARVES HIS NAME INTO THE ALHAMBRA

A Jordanian military officer, age 36, name and military rank unidentified, has been charged with a crime against Spain's historical heritage after being caught carving his name on a wall of the Alhambra in Granada. The officer, who was in Seville with a military delegation to purchase a military aircraft, decided to make a personal side trip to Granada while in Spain and visit the historic walled royal palace and fortress. The Alhambra is a UNESCO world heritage site and the jewel and symbol of the Islamic Nasrid dynasty, which is also considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Arabic architecture anywhere in the world.

COMMENT: The incident reportedly occurred on August 13. Strangely, the officer was observed scratching his name on one of the walls of the Alhambra when he was reported to security personnel by nearby tourists, all of whom knew it was a serious offense. Subsequently, he was arrested, indicted and could face punishments of a fine and/or up to three years in prison.

Now, here's the interesting part: Because he told authorities that he was unaware that his action was against the law, he was released pending trial.
How many times have we heard: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse"? Many.

If everyone could say that they did not know that prohibited behavior was against the law, prisons would be converted into shopping malls. Surely, if the officer in question has no more common sense than to ask security personnel whether he could scratch his name into the wall of a coveted historical site, then perhaps he should never be permitted to get near the cockpit of a military aircraft.


My instinct tells me that he will return to Amman unpunished.




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