MP sits in dock for rejecting far-right cross-examination during Catalan trial

CUP's Eulàlia Reguant faces four-month prison sentence and ban on holding public office

CUP MP Eulàlia Reguant arriving at Spain's Supreme Court on September 28, 2022
CUP MP Eulàlia Reguant arriving at Spain's Supreme Court on September 28, 2022 / Andrea Zamorano

ACN | @agenciaacn | Madrid

September 28, 2022 12:40 PM

September 28, 2022 06:26 PM

The trial against MP Eulàlia Reguant took place on Wednesday for having rejected the cross-examination of far-right Vox representatives in the 2019 trial of nine pro-independence leaders who received decade-long sentences for their role in the 2017 referendum.

The anti-capitalist CUP lawmaker had been called in as a witness in the trial three years ago, but refused to answer Vox's questions – the far-right party was acting as private prosecutor in the proceedings, which took place in Spain's Supreme Court.

"Before the far right, and a sexist and xenophobic party, I won't respond to their questions, and will face the consequences," she said to judge Manuel Marchena in February 2019, while being questioned as a witness.

The first consequence was a €2,500 fine, which she received a few weeks after the events, but she also faces criminal charges. 

Indeed, the public prosecutor is asking for a four-month prison sentence and a ban from public office over the same period for Reguant, who would be ousted as MP if judges agree with the measure.

Reguant during her trial: answering Vox would have gone against my "dignity"

On Wednesday, during her trial, Reguant said that "accepting the presence of those who deny fundamental rights in court would have meant opening the door to there being no justice."


"Legitimizing those who stand for policies against gender equality and against among the people is going against my principles and values."

For her, answering Vox would have meant going against her own "dignity" and this would have led to "moral damage."

Defense: proposed sentence "disproportionate"

Reguant's lawyer, Daniel Amelang, said that the proposed sentence is "disproportionate."

"It was an exercise of freedom of speech and conscience that is worth no criminal proceeding."

The MP's defense has asked for her acquittal arguing that the trial violates her "ideological and conscience freedoms."

In his written arguments handed in before the trial, he said that Reguant was "guided by a sort of conscientious objection and a sense of moral duty."

Also, the political representative's lawyer pointed out that she was already punished with a fine and that it is unfair that she risks losing her seat for events that happened before she was elected in February 2021.

According to him, Reguant's behavior is protected under the criminal procedure law's article 418: "No witness can be obliged to testify about a question the response of which can morally or materially damage them, directly and importantly."

The CUP political representative is not the only person who will be tried for the same events; a local court in Madrid will also try Antonio Baños, former MP for the same party, on Thursday.