The Spanish government says it will take the reform of the sedition offence to Congress before the end of the year
Minister Campo reveals that work in his ministry is "quite advanced"
BarcelonaJustice Minister Juan Carlos Campo said on Friday that his executive branch will bring the reform of the crime of sedition to Congress before the end of the year, and is confident that it will be approved. According to Campo, the work at the Ministry of Justice "is quite advanced", and once it passes all the parliamentary procedures the reform of the crime of sedition could be applied to the pro-independence prisoners if it includes a modification to lower their sentences.
The justice minister made these statements in an interview with TVE, in which he said that the purpose of the reform of the crime of sedition is "to harmonise our law with that of the countries around us when it comes to collecting serious criminal figures on their fair terms". According to Campo, the reform could change the penitentiary situation of political prisoners. "We must see the final result," but "when it affects acts that have been judged before, if it is more beneficial in terms of sentences, the sentencing court makes the adjustment or the study of whether these should be adapted".
In any case, Campo said that first the Spanish government will draft the law, and intends to open "a great debate" with all sectors before approving the reform in the council of ministers and bringing it to the Congress of Deputies. This announcement comes just five days after the president of Unidas Podemos in Congress, Jaume Asens, demanded that the Spanish president, Pedro Sanchez, reforms "now" the sedition offence so that the "political prisoners" are freed for the 14-F campaign. In an interview with La Vanguardia, Asens called for "urgency" and considered that the reform of sedition could not be postponed. "The PSOE has to move from words to actions," added Asens on the reform. "We cannot fully commit, there are some procedures to be followed, but in 3 or 4 months it could be done," he said.
Campo also pointed out that the procedures for managing the pardon of the prisoners continue, although he only indicated that it will be resolved "in reasonable time" and has not advanced what the final decision of the president of the government will be. "There are files of pardons that take six months, and others a year and a half". Campo has not advanced what his executive's decision might be. He has stated that "the measure of the right to pardon is exceptional and is intended to correct judicial errors and excesses", and for the moment his government is only implementing the law on reprieve. As for the situation of the former President Puigdemont, the Minister said that for the time being it would not affect him insofar as he is not convicted. But "in the case of being tried, it is a new regulation, and matters could be followed according to the new articles".
The PP considers it an "embarrassment" and attributes it to the account negotiations
The PP spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, denounced today that the head of the Spanish executive, Pedro Sánchez, continues with the "Persian market" in the budget negotiations, and that, "after laundering Bildu", it is now the "turn of those condemned for sedition" through a penal reform "to lower their sentences". "It's the turn of those convicted of sedition, and those who have escaped like Puigdemont: reform of the Penal Code to lower their sentences. The Government of shame humiliates the Spanish people," said the spokesperson for the Popular Group in Congress in a message on Twitter.
The same has been expressed by the PP Justice spokesman in Congress, Luis Santamaría, who has called this proposal "shameful": "Yesterday, money laundering Bildu and bringing confessed murderers closer together. Today, on his knees in the face of separatism".
The ex king "has not fled"
Additionally, Campo has said that the ex king, Juan Carlos de Borbón, "has not fled" because at the moment he has no open legal proceedings in the State. "I'm convinced that the day he'll be called will come", he said. The minister recalled that right now there are only "preliminary proceedings by the Prosecutor's Office to assess whether there are facts" that correspond to crimes. "There is a special situation of inviolability that has ended, and therefore, like any citizen, the presumption of innocence applies".