Trial against Catalan leaders in Spain ‘must be launch pad’ to win in Europe, says lawyer

Gonzalo Boye maintains leaving country to resist extradition from abroad was "a good idea"

Lawyer Gonzalo Boye during an interview at ACN's newsroom (by Pol Solà)
Lawyer Gonzalo Boye during an interview at ACN's newsroom (by Pol Solà) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 25, 2018 12:06 PM

One year on, the lawyer responsible for coordinating the defense of pro-independence leaders abroad, Gonzalo Boye, has told ACN that leaving Catalonia to resist extradition from other European countries was "a good idea," and even delivered "judicial victories" that benefited those politicians who stayed and are currently behind bars.

With the trial against Catalan leaders due to start in the coming months in Spain’s Supreme Court, Boye says this "must be the launch pad to win" the case in the European Court of Human Rights or the European Union Court of Justice.

The key, says Boye, is for all defense lawyers to work closely together in order to ensure the acquittal of all pro-independence leaders—both those in jail and abroad.

In total, nine pro-independence leaders are in pre-trial jail for defying the Spanish authorities to organize a referendum. They include activists, former government members, and the previous parliament speaker, some of whom have been in prison for more than a year.

The then-president, Carles Puigdemont, and some of his ministers left Catalonia right after the suspended declaration of independence on October 27 last year, alleging they did not trust Spanish courts to offer them a fair trial.

Boye says Puigdemont has always been "aware" of the "historic role" he plays in the Catalan independence bid. The former president was even confident and calm, says the lawyer, when he was arrested in Germany and risked being extradited to Spain—a request that German courts ultimately rejected.