Pro-independence MP on trial for disobedience over yellow ribbons
CUP's Pau Juvillà faces 8-month disqualification from public office
The trial against Pau Juvillà, a far-left pro-independence CUP MP from Lleida, in Western Catalonia, will begin on Monday in Catalonia's High Court.
Accused of disobedience for failing to remove yellow ribbons from the CUP office in the Lleida city council during the 2019 municipal election period – at the time, Juvillà was a council member – the public prosecutor has requested an 8-month disqualification from public office as well as a €1,440-fine.
Since late 2017 following the referendum deemed illegal by Spain, yellow ribbons have come to signal solidarity with the formerly jailed independence leaders as well as those who have moved abroad to avoid being prosecuted for their actions.
Ciudadanos, a center-right party that is staunchly against splitting with Spain and that used to be Catalonia's largest opposition party, lodged a complaint against Juvillà with the Electoral Board for displaying what they described as partisan symbols during an election period; despite this, on April 3, 2019, the then-councilor refused to take them down in an act of defiance that led to disobedience charges.
Because Juvillà became an MP in the Catalan Parliament following the February 14 elections, the case must be tried in the High Court.
Juvillà is not the first politician to face similar charges due to yellow ribbons; in fact, former president Quim Torra was twice charged with disobedience for hanging symbols in solidarity with pro-independence figures from the Catalan government headquarters in Barcelona during election campaign periods.
In September 2020, Spain's Supreme Court upheld the December 2019 Catalan High Court ruling disqualifying Torra for 18 months, the first yellow ribbon ruling against him, effectively removing him from office and handing the presidency to then-vice president Pere Aragonès.