Group of European politicians criticizes potential 'lack of impartiality' in Catalan trial
European politicians watching proceedings concerned over Supreme Court judge
A group of European MPs and MEPs has warned that certain interventions by Spanish Supreme Court magistrate Manuel Marchena in the Catalan trial could indicate a "lack of impartiality".
Their initial report – presented at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, based on visits to hearings at the end of February – accused Marchena of restricting cross-examination of witnesses by defense lawyers and highlighted "repeated" interruptions when they attempted to ask about issues that the prosecutors had not addressed.
"The law does not permit this limitation," the report states.
The parliamentarians are also skeptical of the accused parties – many of whom were ministers in the Catalan government at the time of the independence referendum in October 2017, including former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras and interior minister Joaquim Forn – having to "defend themselves for their political actions".
The report notes that there has been a "judicialization of political opinions" during parts of the independence trial that runs "contrary" to international law.