Extreme right organisation files a criminal complaint against Catalan President for sedition and rebellion
Manos Limpias, a Spanish extreme right-wing organisation, presented on Wednesday before Catalonia’ Hight Court (TSJC) a criminal complaint against the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, for the charges of perverting the course of justice, disobeying judicial authority, rebellion and sedition. According to the plaintiffs, the Catalan President is using all means available to achieve Catalonia’s independence. The far-right union mentions the creation of new ‘state structures’, disobeying the Constitutional Court by giving statements that point towards holding a self-determination vote and violating the Spanish Constitution. In the complaint, Manos Limpias is demanding Mas to be interrogated as a suspect while several Catalan politicians would be witnesses.
Barcelona (ACN).- Manos Limpias, a Spanish extreme right-wing organisation, presented on Wednesday before Catalonia’s High Court (TSJC) a criminal complaint against the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, for the charges of perverting the course of justice, disobeying judicial authority, rebellion and sedition. According to the plaintiffs, the Catalan President is using all means available to achieve Catalonia’s independence. The far-right union notably mentions the creation of new ‘state-structures’, disobeying the Constitutional Court and giving statements that point towards holding a consultation vote and violating the Spanish Constitution. In the complaint, Manos Limpias is demanding Mas to be interrogated as a suspect, while several Catalan politicians would be witnesses. The organisation is also requesting to examine recent decrees and agreements passed in Catalonia, as well as the Catalan budget since 2010, as they believe certain items were established to hold a self-determination vote. Manos Limpias is a trade union of public employees, led by Miguel Bernad, who used to be the Secretary General of the extreme right party Fuerza Nueva and was close to Franco’s Regime member Blas Piñar.
The 85 pages-long document, to which the ACN had access, based its legal argumentation on the consideration that several decrees, declarations and agreements passed in Catalonia in the past years are devices overlooking the Spanish Constitution and designed to achieve independence, consequently segregating a part of Spain from the rest of the state, which would be a crime of rebellion or sedition.
The ‘Declaration of Sovereignty’ and ‘state-structures’ are devices to achieve independence
Among such steps towards independence, Manos Limpias paid particular attention to the Catalan Parliament’s ‘Declaration of Sovereignty’, which was passed in January 2013. The Declaration marked “the beginning of a process by which the citizens of Catalonia will be able to choose their political future as a people”. It also pointed out that Catalonia had traditionally had its own self-government institutions and laws until they were abolished in 1714. The Constitutional Court of Spain temporarily suspended the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in May 2013, following an appeal from the Spanish Government.
The National Transition Advisory Council, which was officially created to “identify and analyse all available legal alternatives for the transition process”, was also mentioned by the plaintiffs, along with newly-created so-called ‘state structures’, for instance Catalonia's own Tax Administration and public bank.
Mas is advocating the violation of the Constitutional framework
The extreme right-wing organisation believes that Mas has committed a crime of perversion of justice as he is advocating and leading to a violation of the Constitutional framework, as well as disobeying the Constitutional Court with acts and statements that point towards the self-determination vote taking place. The trade union takes such an action even though the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration was suspended and it was repeatedly stated by the Spanish Authorities that sovereignty belonged to Spaniards as a whole. The complaint, filed by a lawyer in Madrid to avoid being “pressured” against it, according to the organisation, also regards the agreement reached on a specific date and question to hold the self-determination vote. Furthermore, the complaint also takes into account the letters Mas sent to international leaders in the past months and considers them as acts and intentions violating the Constitution.
In addition to questioning Mas, the plaintiffs are demanding that the main politicians in Catalonia give testimonies as witnesses: the President of Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party ERC, Oriol Junqueras; the President and the Vice-President of the Catalan Parliament, Núria de Gispert and Anna Simó respectively; the leaders Catalan Green Socialist Party (ICV), Joan Herrera and Laia Ortiz; the Parliamentary Spokesperson for radical left-wing and independence party CUP, David Fernández; the Parliamentary Spokesperson for the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) led by Mas, Jordi Turull; the Catalan Government Spokesperson and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs; and the President and Vice-President of the National Transition Advisory Council, Carles Viver Pi-Sunyer and Núria Bosch respectively.
Examining the Catalan budget, agreements, and decrees
They have also requested that several agreements passed by the Parliament be scrutinised, for instance the ‘Declaration of Sovereignty’, the decree which enabled the creation of the National Transition Advisory Council, the agreement establishing a date and specific question for the consultation vote, the budget of the Catalan Government since 2010 where items were established for the consultation vote, as well as contracts with entities and “lobbies” to internationalise the Catalonia’s self-determination process. Finally, they have demanded the municipalities of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona to report on whether they have lent their municipal registers for the census to hold the self-determination consultation vote.
The complaint is “a popular clamour of the Spanish society” for the organisation
In statements to ACN, the leader of the organisation, Miguel Bernad said that the complaint against the President of the Catalan Government was “a popular clamour of the Spanish society”. “What is happening cannot be tolerated” he explained, before accusing the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his Government of acting with “complete and utter passivity”.
In any case, Manos Limpias is expecting that the TSJC will reject its complaint since “everyone knows” this court “is contaminated” since it is based in Barcelona. “We will see where they set the bond and if they throw it away we will take it further” he said. If such a thing happens, the organisation is ready to follow the procedure they followed against Juan Maria Atutxa case, when the President of the Basque Parliament refused to dissolve the parliamentary group Sozialista Abertzaleak. Back then, Manos Limpias presented an appeal to the Second Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court.