Prosecutor appeals Supreme Court decision to exclude Puigdemont from amnesty for embezzlement

Arrest warrants remain in effect for Toni Comín, Lluís Puig, and former president, while others are banned from office

Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín on the campaign trail in Collioure
Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín on the campaign trail in Collioure / Marta Vidal
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

July 5, 2024 04:31 PM

The public prosecutor's office has filed an appeal against the Spanish Supreme Court's decision not to grant an amnesty to Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Lluís Puig for the crime of embezzlement. 

Arrest warrants are still in force for former president Puigdemont, along with the other exiled pro-independence leaders, after the court announced on Monday that the recent amnesty law passed in the Spanish Congress did not apply to the misappropriation of public funds.  

In its appeal, the public prosecutor rejects the argument that the amnesty should not apply because the accused gained financially or that the financial interests of the European Union were affected. 

"The prosecutor does not dispute that the events investigated constitute the crime of embezzlement, what is disputed is that there are indications that the embezzlement pursued in this case also involves an overlapping and deliberate desire to enrich oneself personally," the appeal said. 

"There is no option other than applying the amnesty in question," the prosecutor insists. 

Barred from office 

The public prosecutor's office has also submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court against its decision not to grant an amnesty to Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa for embezzlement. 

Unlike Puigdemont, Comín and Puig in exile, these four pro-independence leaders were tried, jailed and later pardoned, but are still barred from public office until beyond 2030. 

Again, the prosecutor argues that there was no financial benefit nor were the financial interests of the European Union affected. 

Tsunami Democràtic 

In a separate case also involving Puigdemont, the judge investigating the actions of the pro-independence Tsunami Democràtic protest group has given the parties involved three days to decide whether or not to raise a preliminary question on the amnesty law at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). 

Judge Susana Polo is doing so at the request of the private prosecutors in the case (Dignidad y Justícia, Vox and Societat Civil Catalana), who want to ask the European court if European law accommodates the possibility of granting an amnesty to those prosecuted and investigated for terrorism. 

Now, the other parties, including the public prosecutor's office, and lawyers for the defendants Puigdemont and Rubén Wagensberg will respond, and Polo will make a decision in the following days.