From the Court of Auditors to Puigdemont's bodyguard: the pending court cases
The pardons only affects the 9 politicians sentenced to prison in the trial of the Catalan independence bid, which was heard in the Supreme Court in the first half of 2019. Therefore, it leaves out all the rest of the open cases against thousands of people, about 3,000 according to the calculations of Òmnium Cultural. These have been kept alive in different courts and institutions of the State administration, such as the Court of Auditors. Defusing them will be one of the challenges of the new stage of dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments. This is a summary of the main pending cases:
Court no. 13 and the TSJC
The Barcelona High Court recently reopened the summary of the court of instruction number 13 to take new statements of the 29 indicted for embezzlement, disobedience and misfeasance, among others. The cause is the genesis of the judicial framework against the 2017 referendum and there is a derivative at the Supreme Court affecting Lluís Salvadó and Josep Maria Jové. Meritxell Serret is also pending trial.
Former minister and current Government delegate in Lleida Bernat Solé was the first mayor convicted for his participation in the referendum. He has appealed the decision. There are at least seven more against whom the Prosecutor's Office has decided to open a judicial process to disqualify them. So far, the only one acquitted in the first instance has been the mayor of Roses, Montserrat Mindan.
The post-ruling protests
It is the most confusing part because there are many open cases against the so-called Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs), against organisers and supporters of the Tsunami Democràtic and against demonstrators at the numerous rallies against the court's ruling. The activist Marcel Vivet is the latest to join the list of those convicted, and in his case -and in others- a new factor is added to the mix: it is the Catalan administration who is prosecuting them.
The Parliamentary Bureau
All pro-sovereignty members of the Parliamentary Bureau chaired by Carme Forcadell have been disqualified, the latest being Joan Josep Nuet. The cases against the governing body of the chamber have not stopped: the Prosecutor's Office opened a new one against former Speaker Roger Torrent for having allowed the Parliament to discuss self-determination and reprobate the monarchy.
The former Catalan minister of Home Affairs Miquel Buch already knows that the Prosecutor's Office wants six years in prison for him for having signed on Puigdemont's bodyguard as an adviser, whom the prosecutor also wants to send to jail. The Catalan police officers who accompanied the former president when he was arrested in Germany are also pending trial because the Prosecutor's Office appealed against the case's dismissal.
In September 2020, Quim Torra became the first President of the Generalitat to be disqualified in the exercise of his functions. A banner in support of prisoners and exiles hung in the Palau de la Generalitat was the cause. Now he has a second trial pending for having kept the same banner when the Catalan High Court ordered him to remove it and he has already been disqualified for 18 months.
The Court of Auditors
The way that the State has activated to recover the money that it considers was destined to 1-O is the Court of Accounts, through the €4.8 million bail that the members of the Government that called the referendum have already had to deposit. Now, in addition, a second cause has been added that involves around forty senior Government officials and deals with the foreign action of the executive between 2011 and 2017. The amount of the new bail will be known on June 29th and 30th.
The aim of political prisoners and others repressed by the State is that many of the legal cases end up in the European Court of Human Rights so that there is a cascade of rulings against the Spanish judiciary. The Strasbourg court has already begun to receive the first appeals against the Supreme Court's sentence for sedition.