Spain’s Supreme Court to try Francesc Homs over 9-N vote
The judicial process against Catalan politicians that helped to organise the non-binding consultation on independence on the 9th of November 2014 continues. The former Catalan Government spokesman and MP for the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECAT) will definitely face trial after Spanish Supreme Court judge Andrés Palomo del Arco decided on Friday to start an oral case against him for alleged disobedience and administrative perversion. The Spanish public prosecutor wants Homs banned from office for a period of 9 years. The judge describes in his decision the events presented by the prosecution and says that they justify the start of trial. Former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vicepresident Joana Ortega and former minister Irene Rigau are also facing trial for the same reason, although their case is being heard in the Catalan Supreme Court. Homs is facing the Spanish Supreme Court because he is currently a member of the Spanish Congress
Barcelona (CNA).- Francesc Homs will definitely face trial for helping to organise a non-binding vote on independence in 2014, after the Spanish Supreme Court decided to open an oral case against him, following the prosecution’s recommendation. The Spanish public prosecutor wants Homs, former Catalan Government Spokesman and MP for the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECAT), banned from office for 9 years. The judge Andrés Palomo del Arco describes in his decision the events presented by the prosecution and says that they justify the start of a trial.
Former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vicepresident Joana Ortega and former minister Irene Rigau are also facing trial for the same reason, although their case is being heard in the Catalan Supreme Court. Homs is facing the Spanish Supreme Court because he is currently a member of the Spanish Congress.
Now his defence has 10 days to present their case, and then the judge will decide the date to start the trial. Mas, Ortega and Rigau already know that their cases will be heard in court from the 6th of February.
The prosecution says that Homs, as head of the judicial services of the Government, was “completely aware” that by allowing the 9-N vote to go ahead he was “disobeying a decision by the Constitutional Court (TC)”. In fact, the public prosecutor thinks that Homs, together with President Mas and ministers Ortega and Rigau designed a “strategy to disobey” the Court. “Mas, based solely on his own wishes”, says the prosecution, encouraged “the continuation of all public activities to prepare” the vote.
Homs is considered a “crucial” person for the successful holding of the vote, which the Spanish Constitutional Court forbid. According to the prosecution, he guaranteed to the technical companies in charge of the infrastructure of the vote that they were not affected by the Court’s decision. The system was not designed by Government officials, but by an external contractor.
In a press conference after his first statement to the Court, back in September, Homs said that the Catalan Government acted following “the Catalan Parliament mandate and within a legal framework”. The aim, he added, was to protect “citizens’ fundamental rights” to have their say on a political issue. The PDC spokesman in Madrid defended the “legality” of the consultation and claimed that if faced with the same situation, the current Catalan Government would act in the same way as it did in 2014.
Besides this, the former Catalan Minister also stressed that the Spanish public prosecutor’s office is “copycatting People’s Party interests”. He also stated that his trial was a “political process and not a judicial one”. His sentence, he said, “has been already been dictated” and is going to be “condemnatory and not absolving”.