The Prosecutor's Office sues pro-independence Speaker

The decision comes fifteen months after the chamber rejected a Supreme Court ruling

2 min
Roger Torrent and Josep Costa, in an archive image.

BarcelonaIn the next two weeks Parliament will choose a new Speaker and will also renew the other posts in the Parliamentary bureau. But before leaving, the current pro-independence members already know that they will have to deal with a lawsuit filed in the High Court of Justice of Catalonia. The Prosecutor's Office has announced on Monday that it will sue for disobedience against the current Speaker, Roger Torrent, the first vice-Speaker, Josep Costa, and secretaries Eusebi Campdepadrós and Adriana Delgado. That is, those represented by JxCat and ERC in the parliamentary bureau. This is because almost a year ago they admitted a resolution on the response to the sentence against independence leaders. The resolution reiterated the commitment of Parliament to Catalonia's self-determination. And this is despite the fact that pro-independence parties squabbled until they managed to agree on a fairly tame formula a mere 43 days after the Supreme Court's ruling. "Therefore, [the Parliament] reiterates and will reiterate as many times as the deputies want the reprobation of the monarchy, the defence of the right to self-determination and the vindication of the sovereignty of the people of Catalonia to decide their political future," it proclaimed. This statement received Parliament's backing on November 26, 2019.

In the opinion of the Prosecutor's Office, which has had fifteen months to think about it, the bureau should have prevented that text from being voted on in Parliament. It was a motion for a resolution that the parties had already drafted taking into account previous warnings by the Constitutional Court.

The resolution was registered on 22 October, a few weeks after the Constitutional Court had warned the Bureau (on 10 and 16 October) that it had accepted an incident of execution of sentence promoted by the Spanish government by which they had "the duty to prevent or paralyse any parliamentary initiative that would mean ignoring or evading the agreed suspension". That is to say, they could not reprove the monarchy again, nor could they insist on the exercise of the right to self-determination or the validity of the declaration of independence (the latter was never done). If they did not prevent the debate, the Constitutional Court warned the members of the bureau of criminal responsibilities that could be demanded of them. Then, Roger Torrent, as the highest authority of the chamber, said he would assume "all the consequences".

Now the Prosecutor's Office considers that the admission of the proposal by the table on October 22, the rejection of the requests for reconsideration presented by several groups and its inclusion in the plenary of the Parliament, which ended up voting for it, are sufficient grounds for Torrent, Costa, Campdepadrós and Delgado to be tried for disobedience. It excludes from the complaint the second vice Speaker, Joan García, and the secretaries Laura Vílchez and David Pérez, representatives of Cs and PSC of the Bureau, who tried to stop the processing of the proposal.