Spanish government won’t file criminal complaint against Catalan Parliament President - for now
The Spanish Government won’t file a criminal complaint against the Catalan Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, at least until Spain’s Constitutional Court decides on her suspension from office. After a reform passed by the People’s Party (PP) in 2015, the Court has the competency to dismiss public representatives and impose fines on them if they disobey a resolution. The Spanish Government filed a complaint against Forcadell over the declaration adopted by the Catalan Parliament last July that introduced a “democratic unilateral mechanism” to split from Spain. The Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santa María, stated this Friday that this is the “main procedure” for now.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Spanish Government will not urge the public prosecutor’s office to launch a criminal procedure against the Catalan Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, at least until Spain’s Constitutional Court (TC) decides on her suspension from office. The Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santa María, stated this Friday that the complaint filed against Forcadell over the declaration adopted by the Catalan Parliament last July, which introduced a “democratic unilateral mechanism” to split from Spain, is the “main procedure”. The judicial dispute between the Spanish Government and the Catalan institutions entered into a new phase due to the reform passed by the People’s Party (PP) in 2015, which gives the Court powers to dismiss public representatives and impose fines on them, without the need for trial, if they disobey a resolution.
The Court, however, is now studying whether this reform is constitutional or infringes upon the principle of separation of powers, after the appeals filled by the Catalan and the Basque Governments. This decision could take between two and six months, according to the magistrates, and it won’t be until then that they will consider Forcadell’s case.
The decision of the Spanish Executive not to file a criminal complaint doesn’t mean that Forcadell’s case will not end in a criminal procedure, because the complaint issued by the Spanish Government to the Constitutional Court demands the transfer of the case to the public prosecutor’s office.
Spanish Justice Minister stressed the “independence” of the judicial system
The Spanish Minister of Justice, Rafael Catalá, stressed on Thursday that the public prosecutor’s office and the judges have acted “independently” regarding the indictment of several former ministers and the former Catalan President, Artur Mas. Indeed, he attributed the judicialisation of the non-binding consultation to the “normal functioning of the institutions”.
The politicians are currently being investigated for disobeying the Spanish Constitutional Court and allowing the 9-N consultation in 2014 to take place, and will have to go to trial. The Catalan Minister of Justice, Carles Mundó, expressed his disagreement with his Spanish counterpart and stated that the prosecution is a “judicialisation of politics” and that “it is not necessary to give a judicial response to an issue that can be addressed through dialogue”.
Catalonia’s process “deserves a political response” and not a “judicial” one, Mundó stated. “It’s bad news that the former Catalan President and two Catalan Ministers have to go to trial because they’ve asked citizens about their opinion concerning Catalonia’s political future”, he added.
Former Catalan Minister to testify next Monday in the Supreme Court
Former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, is due to appear in front of the Supreme Court on Monday, since he is being investigated for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014.
Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, who was summonsed for the same case, together with former Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega, and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, announced that he will accompany Homs to the Court.
A rally in front of the Catalan Palace of Justice to back Homs
The main sovereignty organisations and some representatives of the cross-party coalition ‘Junts pel Sí’ and the radical left-wing party CUP expressed this Friday their support for the former Minister in a demonstration in front of the Catalan Palace of Justice. Carme Forcadell and former Parliament Presidents Joan Rigol and Ernest Benach also took part in the rally. “If they attack a representative of the Catalan institutions, they attack the institutions themselves”, stated the President of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart.