Catalan president considers taking Rajoy to court over breach of official duty

Spain must allow appointment of ministers in jail and abroad, say Catalan government lawyers

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, during his inauguration on May 18, 2018 (by Marc Rovira)
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, during his inauguration on May 18, 2018 (by Marc Rovira) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 25, 2018 01:35 PM

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, is considering taking his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, to court. This, after the Catalan government lawyers stated that Spain must allow the reinstatement of the deposed ministers in jail and abroad. Torra will ask the High Court of Justice in Catalonia for urgent precautionary measures and might file a lawsuit against Rajoy for breach of official duty. The Catalan president nominated four ministers who are currently either in jail or abroad over of the independence case, but Madrid did not accept the list, and is blocking it. Nine days have passed since Torra was inaugurated in as the new Catalan president; still, the country has no government.

The Spanish government has been blocking the publication of Torra’s nominations in Catalonia’s official gazette (DOGC) for a week. A Catalan government juridical advisor committee ruled that it is illegal and that Madrid has to allow the nominations to be published. For the lawyers, forming a government is within Torra’s attributions, which are “not subject to the authorization or control” of direct rule. “There is no legal circumstance exempting the ministers fromtaking office,” says the non-binding ruling.

Quim Torra pledged to offer all ministers who were deposed on October 27, 2017 to be reinstated. Four of them accepted this, including Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, who are in prison. They were sacked from their posts as heads of presidency and territory departments. The Catalan leader also picked Lluís Puig (Culture) and Toni Comín (Health), both in Belgium seeking refuge from Spain’s justice, for his cabinet.  

From prison, Turull and Rull requested on Friday that the Spanish Constitutional Court free them so they can take office. They also asked Mariano Rajoy's government to publish their appointments in the Catalan official gazette.