Constitutional Court rejects once again to suspend the conviction of Sànchez, Turull, Rull and Forn
Court denies Belgian sentence on Lluís Puig justifies petition
MadridThe Constitutional Court has again refused to suspend Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn's sentence, after they asked for it following the Belgian sentence on former Culture minister Lluís Puig. The four convicted in the trial on the Independence bid requested again from the high court that while their appeal for protection is resolved they should be se free. They argue that a Belgian court declining the extradition of Puig because he would not have a fair trial strengthens their position. The Consitutional Court, however, dismissed the appeal.
The magistrates emphasise that the jurisprudence marks that a modification of these characteristics requires that there has been a "supervening" circumstance, but also points out that the questioning of the competence of the Supreme Court to judge them or the presumption of innocence are not decisive to settle a precautionary suspension like this. In addition, they argue that these are allegations that are already part of the appeal for protection against the sentence against the Independence bid, so that addressing it now would be to advance the resolution of substance that has to come in the future.
The Constitutional Court does not hide the fact that the Belgian ruling "in some way binds or conditions" its eventual rulings on the appeals for legal protection, but not at this time. In spite of this affirmation, the judges have already pronounced themselves on the possible violation of the predetermined judge by law in the response to the resources of the former Catalan minister of Governance Meritxell Borràs and the former Catalan minister of Justice Carles Mundó, and has closed ranks with the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court considers that the Supreme Court could investigate, prosecute and judge the former members of the Catalan Government despite the fact that they were only accused of embezzlement and disobedience.
In relation to the alleged violation of the presumption of innocence, Sànchez, Rull and Turull's defence referred to the leaks to the media that have been occurring on different judicial decisions that have affected them. In the same line, the Constitutional Court remarks that this issue is "lacking relevance for the purposes of elucidating the precautionary measure requested". In the orders published on Wednesday, the judges refer to their decision of June last year in which they rejected suspending the conviction.
In this sense, the Constitutional COurt includes in its arguments that not granting this provisional freedom would not mean irreparable damage because there are still many years left to serve the sentence. Most are close to or exceed three years in prison, but the sentences are 9, 10 and 11 years. Moreover, the magistrates add that the constitutional doctrine has established that a request like this can be granted if fewer than five years of the sentence still have to be served, and this is not the case