Spain's Supreme Court rejects amnesty for Puigdemont over misuse of public funds

Pro-independence figures including Comín, Puig, Junqueras, Romeva, Turull and Bassa also affected by ruling 

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont speaking in Elna, Northern Catalonia (France)
Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont speaking in Elna, Northern Catalonia (France) / Jordi Borràs
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

July 1, 2024 01:14 PM

July 1, 2024 05:42 PM

Spain's Supreme Court has ruled that the crime of misuse of public funds is not included in the amnesty law for the Catalan pro-independence movement, which was approved by the Spanish Congress in June

The court considers that the accused obtained a personal patrimonial benefit, a claim denied by the prosecutor and the State Attorney's Office, and therefore cannot be pardoned.

As a result, arrest warrants are still in force for former president Carles Puigdemont, along with other exiled pro-independence leaders Toni Comín and Lluis Puig.

"Anyone who takes someone else's property - in this case, public property - commits a crime, even if the money obtained is used for gifts to others, charity, or some other altruistic purpose," the 51-page ruling states. 

Shortly after the ruling, Puigdemont compared the Supreme Court to the Sicilian Mafia. "La Toga Nostra," he said in a message on X, a reference to La Cosa Nostra and the judges' robes ('toga' in Catalan).

Pro-independence Esquerra spokesperson Raquel Sans said the decision came as "no surprise," but assured that the law "will eventually have to be applied."

The conservative People's Party, a strong critic of the law, welcomed the court's decision. The party's secretary general, Cuca Gamarra, stressed that the ruling "shows that the country's institutions work despite a bad government."


Arrest warrant for Marta Rovira lifted

The court granted amnesty for the crime of disobedience for which the independence leaders were convicted, considering it fully covered by the amnesty law.

As a result, the court lifted the arrest warrant against Marta Rovira, the secretary general of Esquerra.

However, the ruling opens the door to a possible constitutional appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Despite the pardoning in this case, Rovira remains under investigation for terrorism in the Tsunami Democratic case, which is also pending a decision on the application of the amnesty law.