Junqueras has not renounced ‘illegal means,’ argues Spanish prosecutor

The body requests to keep the Catalan leader in prison, arguing that he’s not committed to "constitutional legality"

The police van leaves the Spanish Supreme Court to take Oriol Junqueras back to the Estremera prison where he is being held on January 4 2017 (by Javier Barbancho / ACN)
The police van leaves the Spanish Supreme Court to take Oriol Junqueras back to the Estremera prison where he is being held on January 4 2017 (by Javier Barbancho / ACN) / ACN

ACN | Madrid

January 4, 2018 07:04 PM

The Spanish prosecutor's office requested to keep the Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, in prison, as it understands that there’s an "obvious risk of criminal reiteration." In a statement, the Spanish prosecutor argues that Junqueras is not committed to "constitutional legality" and that the Catalan vice president, deposed by the Spanish government, has not “renounced to the use of illegal means to defend his political project.”

Indeed, deposed and incarcerated Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras appeared at the Spanish Supreme Court this morning, in a reassessment of his pre-trial holding requested by his defense. During the two hour proceedings, both his attorney, Andreu van den Eynde, and the Spanish prosecutor spoke, as well as Oriol Junqueras himself. The minister and his attorney both stressed that he was committed to dialogue, and placed importance on him being able to attend Parliament plenary sessions after his party, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) won 32 seats in the hemicycle in the December 21 elections.

Yet, the Spanish Prosecutor's Office added that the right to political participation isn’t enough to demand the dismissed minister’s release, since he was “allowed to be elected as an MP.” After the hearing held in the Spanish Supreme Court, where the prosecutor was represented by attorneys represented by attorneys Consuelo Madrugal and Javier Zaragoza, the legal entity also stated that the facts under investigation could constitute the crime of rebellion "because violent behaviors have occurred, when participating in the demonstration held on September 20 and on October 1." The body also argued that those facts can also be considered as crimes of sedition and misappropriation of public funds, which are "very serious offenses” according to the Spanish Criminal Code.

Prosecutor argues there is “sufficient” data                                                                 

 According to the Spanish legal body, there is “sufficient, objective and indicative data” to prove that Junqueras’ participation in these events was “as a promoter and instigator of thereof,” citing evidence included in the case, as well as “various public demonstrations,” carried out by the dismissed vice president throughout 2017.

The Prosecutor's Office concluded that this evidence shows that Junqueras is "one of the organizers of the investigated events in this case and one of the main promoters of social mobilization aimed at the celebration of the October 1 referendum" and "of preventing the action of state security forces to restore constitutional legality, leading to serious confrontations being provoked.”

Junqueras’ lawyer criticizes prosecution but is confident in his client’s rights

Yet, Andreu van den Eynde criticized the prosecutor for not discussing the true issue at hand, and wanting to “advance the judgment” itself. Junqueras’ defense stated that the summons was only to address his client’s personal situation, not his upcoming trial.

However, the lawyer also said he trusts that the courtroom magistrates will base their decision on “technical issues.” “I’m confident that his rights can be guaranteed,” Van den Eynde assured the press, adding that his client “sees freedom within his reach” after being able to speak to the magistrates directly. Currently, the three magistrates are deliberating and it is as of yet unknown when the decision will be made.