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Spanish cartoonists fined for royal sex mag cover

€3,000 a head for insulting Crown Prince Felipe

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The two cartoonists responsible for a July cover of Spanish satirical mag El Jueves, which showed Crown Prince Felipe rogering wife Princess Letizia, have been fined €3,000 each for their trouble, El País reports.

The offending sketch had the prince uttering "Do you realise that if you get pregnant... It will be the closest thing to work I've done in my life?” - a reference to the Spanish government's decision to pay mums €2,500 for each child they bear.

The issue was forcibly removed from the shelves at the request of the public prosecutor's office, and High Court judge Del Olmo ordered the printing plates seized and the El Jueves website shut.

In court, defendants Manel Fontdevila y Guillermo Torres claimed they "weren't aware they'd committed a crime", but judge José María Vázquez Honrubia described the cover as "inexplicable and unnecessary".

The perps' defence lawyer, Jordi Plana, protested that the law protects the king and his family, while "not even Franco enjoyed that protection". He insisted that nobody is "immune from criticism or ridicule however vulgar or coarse it may be".

The judge, however, ruled that the pair had insulted the heir to the throne under article 491.1 of the Penal Code, and fined them accordingly. Torres described the sentence as "a great surprise", claiming that before the hearing he and his co-defendant were certain they'd be acquitted.

The two humourists insisted that the next cover of El Jueves would feature King Juan Carlos. We suspect Hugo Chavez might put in an appearance, too. ®

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