Misc 26/10/2017

The investigation into 1-O, "a case against the Catalan independence movement as a whole"

The lawyer acting for the defence claims the case "has no legal basis" and that he has been denied full access

Enric Borràs
2 min
Manifestants a la Ciutat de la Justícia clamen llibertat pels detinguts per l'1-O

Juan Antonio Ramírez Sunyer, the judge who sits on the bench of court number 13 of Barcelona and who started the case against the 1-O as a result of the investigation into statements made by former judge Santi Vidal and ordered the vast police operation of 20 September, has lifted reporting restrictions on the case. According to lawyer Andreu Van den Eynde, who represents former Secretary General of the Economy, Josep Maria Jové, and who is coordinating the defence of those under investigation, it appears to be "a case against independence as a whole" and, as such, “it has no legal basis".

In an interview with ARA, Van den Eynde stated that he was only able to access two of the 14 volumes covering the case. He went on to criticise the hurdles the court has put in his way, in spite of reporting restrictions having been lifted, meaning he has the right to access all the documents. Nonetheless, Van den Eynde is confident that he has already been able to prove "there are irregularities in the investigation" and that it shows "clear evidence of its lack of legitimacy" which may end up invalidating it, resulting in the other cases arising from it also being invalidated.

"It is a case against the independence movement in general, something which is prohibited in any democratic system where there are guarantees for those under investigation", Van den Eynde insists. "The object of the investigation is totally undefined", he says, and the judge has delegated all responsibility to the Guardia Civil "without any judicial control". The prupose of the process, he insists, is "the indiscriminate investigation of any activity carried out by those individuals under investigation." Facts are not being investigated, "but instead any future circumstances related to certain people", something which is unheard of.

According to Van den Eynde, such a case is "a flagrant violation of the right to defence and effective judicial protection". In addition, he alleges that there are clear "irregularities in the case," since there are no judicial resolutions authorising the phone taps that were carried out as part of the investigation. Van den Eynde is insisting on being allowed access to the remaining court documents.

Van den Eynde declared that he has also confirmed that the judge first stopped proceedings by the public prosecutor, though the prosecutor opened a new case to investigate the referendum, "leading to two parallel investigations conducted entirely by the Guardia Civil, which is dedicated to investigating the Catalan independence movement, rather than the crimes that are the object of the initial charges".