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Rull accuses Spain's Constitutional Court of 'lacking moral authority'

Former territory minister testifies in Catalan Trial


20 February 2019 11:02 AM


ACN | Madrid

Spain's Constitutional court "lacks moral authority," according to former territory minister, Josep Rull, who testified on Wednesday in the trial of Catalan independence leaders in the Spanish Supreme Court.

Rull is the fifth member of the Carles Puigdemont cabinet to give evidence in the proceedings, after Oriol Junqueras and Joaquim Forn (last Thursday), and Jordi Turull and Raül Romeva (on Tuesday).

The former minister accused the Constitutional Court, which declared the 2017 referendum illegal, of acting as a political tool in “having been systematically utilized by the Spanish government to suspend all initiatives by the Catalan parliament.”

As an example, Rull pointed to his appeal for release currently before the high court: "I've been waiting for the Constitutional Court to resolve my appeal against my preventive detention for over eight months. It has still not issued a ruling. [When we passed the referendum law], in less than 24 hours the court had met and suspended it," he said.

  • "I've been waiting for the Constitutional Court to resolve my appeal against my preventive detention for over eight months. It has still not issued a ruling"

    Josep Rull · Former territory minister

The former minister began his testimony by protesting the lack of simultaneous translation from Catalan in the court, which he said infringed his basic rights. He also refused to take questions from the far-right Vox party, which is a private prosecutor in the case.

Referring to the 2017 independence bid, Rull insisted the Catalan government had "used all means to get a referendum [approved by Madrid]. We tried more than 20 times with all the tools at our disposal."

Rull also justified the actions of the former government by referring to the mandate the pro-independence parties had been given by voters. "People vote and it's good that parties deliver [on their promises]. Our manifesto was not challenged in court," he said.

Charged with rebellion and the misuse of public funds, Rull rejected the latter accusation, saying "it was impossible to divert a single euro," and he added that the former government "always aimed for the right balance between the rule of law and the democratic principle."

Bassa to speak after Rull

After Rull's declaration, it will be the turn of the former labor minister, Dolors Bassa, a member of the ERC party, to take the stand.

Both of the former ministers have been in pre-trial prison for exactly a year this week.

The court expects to finish with all the defendants' testimonies this week, so sessions could go on into Friday, although the court's original plan was to only hold sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.