Prosecuted politicians assert right to parliamentary immunity
Five Catalan leaders accused of disobedience appear in Madrid court
Four Catalan politicians prosecuted for allowing independence laws to be debated in parliament appeared before Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday, where judge Pablo Llarena told them they face criminal charges of disobedience.
As former members of the Catalan parliament bureau, they asserted their right to parliamentary immunity and asked for the preemptive measures that they are subject to since last November to be lifted.
Lluís Guinó, Lluís Maria Corominas, Anna Simó and Ramona Barrufet are to present themselves in front of a judge on a weekly basis for an indeterminate period. Their passport was seized and they’re not allowed to leave the country. In order to avoid jail, each of them was ordered to pay a bail of 25,000 euros.
“But by no means the mistake we may have made should entail prison sentences”
Joan Josep Nuet · Former parliament bureau
“We may have committed mistakes,” said Joan Josep Nuet, the only leader under investigation who is against independence and who does not face any preemptive measures. An MP for Catalunya en Comú-Podem party, he says they “obeyed the democratic mandate” by bringing a “poignant” debate to the chamber. “But by no means the mistake we may have made should entail prison sentences.”
Guinó, Corominas, Simó, Barrufet and Nuet are under investigation for allowing the parliament to vote on bills that provided a legal framework for last October’s referendum and the subsequent declaration of independence, all deemed illegal by Spain. Barrufet did not take part in her hearing due to an illness.
This is set to be an intense week for the judicial case against Catalan independence, as all prosecuted politicians who are not currently in jail or abroad will appear in court. On Tuesday it will be the turn of deposed ministers Meritxell Borràs and Carles Mundó, ex-minister Santi Vila, as well as former CUP MP Mireia Boya.
None of them are being prosecuted for rebellion, which can carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years according to Spanish law—the reason being that all Catalan leaders accused of rebellion are already in jail or seeking refuge abroad.