Supreme Court rejects Mas and Catalan Ministers' 9N appeals
Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has dismissed this Thursday the appeals filed by former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vice-President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister of Education Irene Rigau against their prosecution for alleged crimes of disobedience and administrative prevarication when organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. The Court magistrates believe that it is necessary to go on with the prosecution of the defendants for having authorised and co-organised the consultation, which took place on 9 November 2014. In its resolution, the TSJC insists on the “conscious resistance” of the three politicians to the Spanish Constitutional Court’s suspension of the participatory process. The resolution arrives three days before former Catalan Minister for Presidency, Francesc Homs, is due to testify in Madrid for the same cause.
Barcelona (CNA).- Former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vice-President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister of Education Irene Rigau will have to ultimately testify in the trial related to the non-binding consultation on independence which took place on 9 November 2014. Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has dismissed the appeals filed by the defendants against the decision of the investigating magistrate, Joan Manel Abril, to go on with the prosecution for alleged crimes of disobedience and administrative prevarication. The magistrates consider that either the defendants continued “taking actions contrary” to the suspension of the participatory process by the Constitutional Court or “they omitted the actions necessary for their compliance”.
With this resolution, the TSCJ magistrates back “entirely” the decision of the judge investigating the case, who last June stated the necessity to continue with the indictment and rejected closing the case.
According to the interlocutory statement by the TSCJ, the Catalan President Artur Mas received a “clear and comprehensible” communication from the Constitutional Court in regard to the suspension of the non-binding referendum, but even so decided to authorise a consultation vote.
Mas, Ortega and Rigau’s lawyers claimed in their appeals that the 9-N consultation is a “political case”. The TSJC magistrates stress in the resolution that the investigation was not opened “because the government had called, without competences, a participatory process to know the Catalan [people’s] opinion”, but due to alleged “disobedience to a Constitutional Court communication”. In relation to this, Catalonia’s Supreme Court remarks that the independence of the judges "is fully guaranteed by high-standard legal rules” .