Pedro Sánchez defends constitutionality of amnesty bill and says it 'covers all cases'

Spanish PM says law must have "all guarantees" so that it can be applied

Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez speaking in a press conference from Rabat
Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez speaking in a press conference from Rabat / La Moncloa
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 22, 2024 09:45 AM

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez defended the constitutionality of the current text of the amnesty bill on Wednesday.

His Socialist Party had previously brought the bill, which aims to offer an amnesty for the leaders of Catalonia's independence push, to lawmakers in the Spanish Congress, but the text was rejected after failing to gain the support of pro-independence Junts per Catalunya. 

Junts argued that the text, in its current form, would not legally cover all the actors involved in the independence push, and rejected it to start negotiations again on an altered version of the bill.  

With this, Junts want to modify the wording to avoid the maneuvers of the National Court judge Manuel García-Castellón, who is investigating the Tsunami Democràtic case and wants to try former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont for terrorism for the protests that broke out across Catalonia in October 2019 following the release of the verdict of the Catalan trial. 

In a press conference from Rabat, where Pedro Sánchez met with Mohamed VI, the leader of the Spanish executive stated that "as it stands now, the amnesty bill is fully constitutional, it is aligned with the standards of European legislation, and of course it covers all cases and the casuistry that involved hundreds of pro-independence leaders and non-leaders in 2017."

The Socialists and Junts remain in talks over the new version of the bill, and there are only two weeks remaining until the deadline, March 7, set by the Justice Commission to draw up a new bill and submit it to the Congress. 

Sánchez recalled that the law "is important for Spanish democracy" because it will allow the country "to overcome everything that happened in 2017 from a judicial point of view."

Yet, the leader of the executive pointed out that, for it to take effect, the amnesty law must be "constitutional" and have "all the legal guarantees" to overcome the filters of the Constitutional Court and European justice.

"The fact that we are still talking about this in 2024 shows how important it is that we definitively overcome this crisis and this debate and focus on issues that are paramount for Catalan society, such as the countryside and the drought."