26/02/2021

Llarena is back

2 min
Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena.

Pablo Llarena is back on the charge in Europe. After more than three years of fiascos due to the refusal of several European courts to grant the extradition of the exiles of the Independence bid through Euro-orders presented by the Supreme Court, Llarena, who is in charge of the case against the independence movement, seems determined to play it out before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Llarena has finally expressed his willingness to transfer to the highest EU judicial instance a pre-trial question to clarify the limits of the state courts at the time of rejecting the euro-orders. It is, therefore, to finally set a general position. The Belgian refusal to send to Spain Catalan ex Minister of Culture Lluís Puig Gordi has the last straw for Llarena who has never given his arm to twist before the refusal of his European colleagues, whom he has not hesitated to accuse of disloyalty. In addition, despite the fact that there is still a lot to be decided, he has also wanted to take advantage of the decision of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in favour of withdrawing Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí's immunity.

In any case, the Supreme Court magistrate makes it clear that he will continue to the end. Therefore, judicial interference in Spanish politics, and more specifically in the Catalan lawsuit, is assured. The high judiciary of the State, conservative and imbued with an undisguised Spanish nationalism, has long since unashamedly assumed a leading role in the political game, not to say directly in the patriotic crusade. For this reason, the possibility, on the other hand not at all easy, that in the coming months a stage of dialogue and détente between the Spanish government and the new Government of the Generalitat can start will continue to be conditioned little or very much by judicial interference.

Pablo Llarena is clear in his determination: he wants to take the exiles to prison, and he will try to do so until the end, no matter what, even if it means putting at risk the prestige of the Spanish judicial system and any political solution. In fact, the jurisprudence of the CJEU itself has endorsed a few times the competence of state courts not to automatically extradite people wanted in other European states, despite the fact that i has also condemned Belgium for having rejected the extradition of ETA member Natividad Jáuregui, which led the National High Court to issue a new European arrest warrant that was finally executed last November. The European judicial departure may be long and in any case, however it ends, it is a burden that weighs and will weigh on the already deteriorated Spanish democracy. The existence of exiles and political prisoners is a burden for Spanish foreign policy, and now also for European foreign policy, as recently experienced by its head during his official visit to Russia to deal with the Navalni case. But Llarena, there is no doubt, will go on and on.

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