Posted: Sep 2, 2009
A Frenchman caught walking and cycling around San Sebastian wearing nothing but his birthday suit is facing up to 17 months in prison for 'disobedience and indecent exposure'.
The trial of Irwin, who was arrested in May last year for nudism on the Paseo de Eduardo Chillida, began today with witness statements from the police officers who arrested him describing how they found him lying in a public area without a stitch on and with his 'legs open'.
Despite the officers' repeated requests that he put some clothes on, Irwin allegedly 'pretended not to hear' and 'continued with the indecent exposure'. The officers told the judge how the defendant 'didn't stop smiling' and was walking up and down the promenade 'like a model on a catwalk'.
Witnesses told the judge that the defendant 'was not playing with himself' nor did he show any outwardly sexual behaviour, but that he obviously wanted people to look at him.
For his part, Irwin told the court that there were no children in the vicinity when he was arrested and that he overheard the police officers on their radios trying to find parents with children to act as witnesses against him.
The prosecution is asking for ten months in prison for indecent exposure and a further seven months behind bars for disobeying police officers's requests to cover himself up.
The defence have countered that there is no specific law against what Irwin did and therefore it follows that 'that which is not expressly forbidden is allowed'. As for the charge of civil disobedience, the defence argues that since there is 'no law detailing how people should be dressed' their client's arrest is a violation of his basic human rights.
The trial continues.
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