Judge shelves Tsunami Democràtic case potentially benefiting former Catalan president Puigdemont

Decision comes after Spain's national court dismissed part of case due to procedural error

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont
Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont / Jordi Borràs
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

July 8, 2024 04:34 PM

July 9, 2024 10:53 AM

The case against Tsunami Democràtic, a Catalan pro-independence activist group known for organizing mass protests, has been shelved. 

The decision came hours after Spain's National Court annulled part of the case due to a procedural error

The court ruled that all proceedings since July 2021, which marked the end of the investigation period, were invalid.

The judge sought terrorism charges against the organizers of the protests, which included several pro-independence leaders such as former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont.

However, since their indictment was issued in November 2023, they could no longer be prosecuted, as this part of the case was dismissed.

Tsunami Democràtic protesters clash with police at the airport protest in October 2019
Tsunami Democràtic protesters clash with police at the airport protest in October 2019 / Miquel Codolar

The filing of the case benefits almost all of them, including the secretary general of pro-independence Esquerra, Marta Rovira.

Puigdemont and the Catalan MP for Esquerra, Ruben Wagensberg, however, are the only two accused whose case has not yet been filed.

Their case was transferred from the National Court to the Supreme Court as they hold public office.

The Supreme Court must now make a decision, and it will likely make the same decision and shelve the case.

Marta Rovira to return after six years in exile

The secretary general of Esquerra Marta Rovira will soon return to Catalonia after six years living in exile in Switzerland.

The pro-independence leader can now return without being arrested, following the filing of the Tsunami Democràtic case, in which she was accused of terrorism.

"I am emotional, it is a very special moment. I had to pinch myself a few times yesterday," she told Rac1 radio.

ERC general secretary Marta Rovira
ERC general secretary Marta Rovira / Bernat Vilaró

Rovira said it was "poetic justice" the way the case was shelved due to a procedural error, as the judge delayed the case for years to "politicize" it.

The pro-independence leader said she had not yet made a decision on when she would return to Catalonia, although she said she would like to be present at this weekend's Esquerra meeting.

However, she said she would like to return with Esquerra deputy Ruben Wagensber, whose case hasn't been dismissed because it is still pending a decision by the Supreme Court.

Tsunami Democràtic investigation

Judge Manuel García-Castellón was investigating the actions of Tsunami Democràtic, a Catalan pro-independence activist group responsible for organizing massive demonstrations after the Catalan pro-independence movement leaders were sent to prison in October 2019

The judge was seeking terrorism charges against the organizers, including former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and Marta Rovira, considering Tsunami Democràtic a "structured and hierarchical organization" with the aim of "subverting Spain's constitutional order and destabilizing the state economically and politically through massive social protests."

The case was open for several crimes, including terrorism, also for the injuries of two national police officers during a demonstrations and the death of a French tourist during the mobilization at El Prat airport, all in October 2019,  after the veridict that condemned in jail pro-independence leaders.

Tsunami Democràtic protest at Barcelona airport
Tsunami Democràtic protest at Barcelona airport / Miquel Codolar