Spanish Congress to pass amnesty law on May 30

Bill will be debated and voted on after being vetoed by conservative PP in Senate

Spanish Congress
Spanish Congress / Congrés dels Diputats
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

May 21, 2024 02:13 PM

May 21, 2024 02:20 PM

The Spanish Congress will approve the amnesty law for those involved in the Catalan independence push on May 30.

After a months-long parliamentary process, the bill was vetoed last week in the Senate where the conservative People's Party has a majority, and will now return to Congress.

If there are no surprises, the ruling Socialists and their coalition partners will overturn the veto and pass the bill.

The next day, the law will be published in the Spanish Official Gazette. Once approved, the law will be passed to the judges, who will have two months to apply it to all cases related to the independence push.

However, the People's Party is expected to appeal the law to the Constitutional Court and European courts, which could delay its application some months more.

Who will benefit from the bill?

Once approved, the amnesty law will benefit all those involved in the independence movement, pardoning individuals who have been investigated, accused or charged with a wide range of crimes, including embezzlement, disobedience, and even terrorism.  

It will also cover those sentenced in 2019 for their roles in organizing the referendum, such as exiled former president Carles Puigdemont and his former vice president Oriol Junqueras. 

The original amnesty proposal covered those prosecuted from January 2012 to November 2023, but the revised version extends this period back to November 2011.  

Estimates of the number of beneficiaries under the law vary widely. Based on the first draft, the pro-independence civil society organization Òmnium estimated that around 1,500 people would benefit, while the Socialists estimated the number to be around 300. 

Currently, the exact number of beneficiaries under the current text remains uncertain, but Junts claims that the revised version will extend its benefits to an additional 150 to 200 people compared to the original proposal.