Solution to Spanish-Catalan relations ‘can’t be found through a criminal trial,’ says international observer

The Supreme Court did not allow observers but some gained entrance as members of the public

Italian international lawyer and observer Fabio Marcelli outside the Supreme Court on February 13 2019 (by Pol Solà)
Italian international lawyer and observer Fabio Marcelli outside the Supreme Court on February 13 2019 (by Pol Solà) / ACN

ACN | Madrid

February 13, 2019 12:50 PM

The relations between Catalonia and Spain are too “complex from a historical, social, economic, and political perspective” to have their solution through a “criminal trial.” This, according to international lawyer and observer Fabio Marcelli.

Marcelli expressed that instead what was being judged was a “democratic attitude.” The lawyer further highlighted that in his view, the October 1 Catalan independence referendum was an action of “free expression.”

“This attitude cannot be sanctionable within the democratic framework,” said the laywer, because the right to freedom of expression is “guaranteed by internal and European norms, and by the very Spanish constitution.”

Although the Supreme Court did not allow entry for international observers, many were able to access the proceedings as members of the general public. Marcelli himself attended the trial on February 12, the first day, after queuing for approximately an hour.

Marcelli is one of the individuals who traveled to Madrid to witness the trial against Catalan leaders and the independence referendum. Observers came from countries such as Italy, France, and the United States.

Law professors to write a book on findings

Also observing the trial are a total of 14 university law professors from around the state – with the aim of ultimately publishing a book with their findings from what they will have seen in the upcoming months.

According to law professor from Andalusia Javier Pérez Royo, the proceedings “shouldn’t have been opened,” and “many things should have been resolved before starting the trial.” Indeed he said that there is “a truly extraordinary amount of procedural irregularities” that should have been “fixed as much as possible” before starting.

The academics, who come from places like the Basque Country, Valencia, Catalonia and Andalusia, will take turns attending the proceedings. The professors were also not granted special accreditation, and Pérez Royo gained access to the trial by queuing as well, although he said he had no difficulty in doing so.

“Things that are started badly can only end badly,” concluded Pérez Royo.