Spanish judge tries to exclude Carles Puigdemont from amnesty law

Manuel García Castellón believes former Catalan president violated human rights that cannot be pardoned

Junts MEP and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont addresses the European Parliament and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez in Strasbourg
Junts MEP and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont addresses the European Parliament and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez in Strasbourg / European Parliament
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 26, 2024 02:38 PM

January 26, 2024 04:21 PM

A judge at Spain's National Court, Manuel García Castellón, has said that the actions of the pro-independence protest group Tsunami Democràtic violated human rights and therefore those involved cannot be pardoned under the future amnesty law.   

Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia and now a member of the European Parliament, is currently under investigation for his links to the protest group and the actions it carried out after the 2019 ruling that led to the imprisonment of pro-independence leaders.   

Judge García Castellón believes that during the protests there were serious events that violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), precisely those that are not covered by the amnesty law agreed between the Socialists and the pro-independence Junts and Esquerra. 

The judge's order states that the 2019 protests are "incompatible" with the "right to life and physical integrity" recognized by the ECHR. According to García Castellón, some police officers suffered "severe injuries" as a result of Tsunami Democràtic's actions.

Law wording excludes ECHR violations

On Tuesday, Junts and Esquerra reached a deal with the Socialists to include two amendments in the amnesty bill that could pardon members from Tsunami Democràtic accused of terrorism.

However, the amendments will exclude terrorism charges or convictions "if and when acts committed are deliberate and premeditated and have caused serious violations of human rights, as defined in Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law."

It is precisely this loophole that García Castellón is pursuing, trying to accuse Puigdemont of having violated Article 2 of the ECHR, so that he will not be able to benefit from the amnesty that will be debated and voted on in the Spanish Congress on January 30

New Tsunami Democràtic investigation

Judge García Castellón on Friday opened a new line of investigation against Tsunami Democràtic in connection with King Felipe VI's visit to Barcelona in 2020 for the Princess of Girona Awards.

The judge has requested information about messages exchanged by Catalan businessman Josep Campmajó with a person who "could be a member of the police", possibly the Catalan police Mossos d'Esquadra

In these conversations, the two discuss the security arrangements for a royal delegation, which suggests that "Tsunami Democràtic may be considering some action in connection with the King's visit to Barcelona", the judge said.