Catalan minister summoned by court under disobedience charges for former role as speaker

Roger Torrent could face disqualification for allowing parliamentary votes on self-determination and against the monarchy

Roger Torrent, Business minister and former speaker of the Catalan parliament (by Sílvia Jardí)
Roger Torrent, Business minister and former speaker of the Catalan parliament (by Sílvia Jardí) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 26, 2021 01:56 PM

The business minister of the Catalan government, Roger Torrent, has been summoned to testify at the High Court of Catalonia on September 15 under disobedience charges over his role as former parliament speaker.

Torrent and three other pro-independence politicians, who also served as members of the chamber’s bureau until last March, are prosecuted for allowing lawmakers to vote on self-determination and against the Spanish monarchy, allegedly contravening Constitutional Court rulings.

If found guilty of disobedience, Torrent could face a ban from public office, joining a long list of Catalan officials sacked for their role in the independence push, including former president Quim Torra and members of the cabinet that called a referendum and attempted to break away from Spain in 2017.

Torrent's predecessor, the pro-independence activist turned politician Carme Forcadell, was given an 11.5-year prison sentence for sedition for allowing lawmakers to declare independence from Spain in 2017. However, she was released in June when the Spanish government moved to pardon the convicted leaders of the 2017 independence push.

The court announced last March that it was admitting a criminal lawsuit from Spain’s public prosecutor against Torrent and three of his former colleagues at the chamber’s bureau: Josep Costa, Eusebi Campdepadrós, and Adriana Delgado. They’re all members of Catalonia’s two ruling pro-independence parties.

Torrent is accused of contravening Spain’s Constitutional Court and authorizing votes that were deemed unlawful.

The motions were passed on November 12, 2019, with subsequent amendments on November 26. They were backed by pro-independence parties, holding a majority of seats in the chamber.

One of the texts stressed that parliament "reiterates and will reiterate as many times as MPs choose the disapproval of the monarchy, the defense of self-determination and the affirmation of the sovereignty of the people of Catalonia to decide their political future."