Mas former right hand man also banned from public office over independence vote
Former Catalan President Artur Mas’ right-hand man, Francesc Homs, has been sentenced to a 1 year and 6 months ban from holding public office for allowing a symbolic vote on Catalan independence to take place on November 9, 2014. The magistrates in the Spanish Supreme Court found Homs, who is currently a sitting MP and the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, guilty of disobedience but absolved him from charges of perversion of justice. Earlier this month, Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) also banned Mas from public office for 2 years and fined him €36,000. Former Vice president Joana Ortega and former Education Minister Irene Rigau were banned from holding public office for a period of 1 year and 9 months and 1 year and 6 months. They will have to pay fines of €30,000 and €24,000, respectively.
Barcelona (CNA).- Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, has been banned from public office for 18 months by the Spanish Supreme Court. The magistrates found him guilty of disobedience for allowing a symbolic vote on independence to take place on November 9, 2014, despite a Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspension. According to the court, this is a crime that “can’t be ignored by criminal law”. Earlier this month, former Catalan President, Artur Mas, together with Former VP Joana Ortega and former Education Minister Irene Rigau, received severe fines and were banned from public office for periods ranging from 1 year and 3 months to two years.
Homs announced that he will appeal the sentence before the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) and refused to leave his seat in the Spanish Parliament. In a press conference, joined by former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, and other members of the PDeCAT, Homs described the sentence as “politically motivated” and “wrong”. He also lamented the way the Spanish state has responded to Catalonia’s political aspirations and accused Spain of being undemocratic and not adhering to the rule of law.
The Prosecutor had requested a 9-year ban
The Prosecutor had requested a much more severe sentence and wanted Homs to be banned from holding public office for 9 years. He said Homs “didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation to take place and which were accountable to the Department of the Presidency” which Homs led at that time. The document emphasizes that the former Catalan Minister for Presidency and current Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament was “absolutely aware” that “by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions”.
However, during his testimony before the Spanish Supreme Court, Homs admitted to “all the acts” he was accused of “and even more”, but disagreed that they “constitute a crime”. Homs insisted that the resolution from the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspending the 9-N vote “was not concrete”. Moreover, he assured that the executive “had no other option” than to allow the symbolic vote to take place, since “ideological freedom and freedom of speech were at stake”.