New European setback for the Supreme Court

2 min
La plantofada de Bèlgica sobre Lluís Puig, com el bròquil

BarcelonaThe Spanish Supreme Court has once again been left out of step with Europe. The Belgian Public Prosecutor's Office will not appeal against the judgement of the Belgian Court of Appeal which has refused the Spanish Euro-order against the former Minister of Culture of the Generalitat, Lluís Puig Gordi. So the case is definitively closed and represents a new setback for judge Pablo Llarena. If the second Euro-order of the Supreme Court against Puig Gordi was already denied - the first was withdrawn by the Supreme Court itself - because the Spanish court had no jurisdiction, on this occasion the legal argument has gone further by considering that there was "violation of the presumption of innocence" of the accused by the Supreme Court, which has not ceased, despite repeated failures, in its obsession with bringing back political exiles whom it has not been able to judge. The request for extradition now completely ruled out was sent by Llarena in October 2019, a few weeks after the sentence of the case against the independence bid. He was wanted for embezzlement of funds, while the crimes of rebellion and sedition, present in the other two Euro-orders, disappeared. But even so, the request was turned down.

This new decision by the Belgian Court of Appeal sets a relevant precedent that will be followed in the different cases opened against the exiles. The arguments put forward by the Belgian justice system in the Puig Gordi case establish a precedent that may serve to strengthen the defence of former President Carles Puigdemont and former Ministers Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí in the proceedings they are facing in the European Parliament to remove them as MEPs. The precedent also affects the same political prisoners condemned by the Supreme Court. In fact, their defence always considered that the Spanish High Court was not competent to judge them on the basis of the principles of the right to a natural judge. In this sense, the instance where the trial should have been held is the High Court of Justice of Catalonia. Now this is gaining strength with the agreement of the Belgian Court of Appeal, which is also using the political opinions expressed by judges and prosecutors against the Catalan pro-independence leaders, a circumstance that invalidates their necessary neutrality and therefore calls into question the guarantees of a fair trial.

The European judicial battle, however, will be a long one. This victory will not allow Puig Gordi to return to Catalonia, where he could still be imprisoned and tried. The anomaly, therefore, continues and will continue until at some point a political solution is found within the Spanish state. A solution that will necessarily involve an amnesty for all the victims of the repression of the Independence bid, which, in addition to the exiles and the prisoners, includes hundreds of political positions, civil servants and citizens. As long as this does not happen, the European judicial instances are, in fact, as we have seen once again, an open terrain ready to make evident the inconsistency and partiality of the Spanish justice system. But the problem, both personal and political, will remain unless an amnesty law is passed.