Judge’s reasons to deny permission to jailed leader ‘grotesque’
Some 50 law professors accuse Spain’s Supreme Court of creating a “false story” to prevent incarcerated MP from being sworn in
An association of around 50 law professors of Catalan universities branded the reasons behind the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday over a jailed pro-independence leader as “grotesque.” The Col·lectiu Praga, set up in 2013 to promote Catalonia’s right to self-determination and made up of academic lawyers, criticized this way the judge’s decree denying permission for incarcerated leader and MP Jordi Sànchez to attend the Catalan chamber in order to be sworn in as president of the country.
In a series of tweets published on Saturday, the association accused the court of creating a “false story” around the independence case. Indeed, according to Col·lectiu Praga, the latest judge’s decree blames Sànchez for the Spanish police violence on the referendum day because he encouraged citizens to vote. For the academic lawyers, this is a “tale,” but they claim that in Strasbourg, seat of the European Court of Human Rights, they will respond to the Supreme Court with “another tale.”
The Col·lectiu Praga was not the only one to react to the judge’s decision on Saturday. The deposed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, rejected it in a party meeting via video. “What’s the point in holding an election when a judge has more power than 2 million Catalans,” he asked. He urged the EU for a “political response” after the veto to Sànchez’s election as president. Indeed, his three deposed ministers in Brussels think that the European courts will “corner” the Spanish justice.
"What’s the point in holding an election when a judge has more power than 2 million Catalans?"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
Albert Rivera, the leader of unionist Ciutadans, called the pro-independence parties to choose someone who is not investigated by the Spanish judicial authorities. He also said that the leaders of forces in favor of a Catalan state “already know” what happens “outside the law.” Ciutadans is the largest party in the Catalan Parliament.
No deadline for investiture
The also unionist Socialists announced that it will appeal once more to Spain’s Constitutional Court next Monday. They seek to start the two-month deadline for a Catalan president to be appointed before a new election is automatically called. The law provides that around 40 days after the election an investiture debate needs to be held. And if the candidate for president fails to be elected, the two-month clock starts to tick. But the parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, has delayed twice such debate, so there is no deadline in horizon at the moment.
The green party ICV, part of the in between blocs Catalunya en Comú-Podem candidacy, also urged for a president to be elected. Its spokesman and MEP Ernest Urtasun called the pro-independence parties to stop “fighting with each other” and form a new government, so that direct rule comes to an end. “Catalonia does not deserve this spectacle,” he added.