Court of Auditors case
Politics 27/09/2021

State Attorney defends "principle of impartiality" to avoid taking position on ICF's bail guarantees

In its report, it recalls that it has to maintain a neutral role because it is a preliminary phase which is "administrative" in nature.

2 min
The seat of the Court of Auditors

The State Attorney's Office does not believe it is appropriate that it take a position on whether the Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF) should be allowed to act as bail guarantor for the accused in the Court of Auditors case. It believes this would violate the principles of "impartiality" and "objectivity" that ought to govern an administrative process. The State Attorney's Office remarks that the case, in which former Generalitat officials have been required to post a €5m bail over the Catalan Government's foreign action, is in a preliminary phase which is of "administrative and not jurisdictional nature" and that, therefore, the State Attorney has to maintain a neutral role. In fact, in the report it recalls that the court cannot determine whether the decree approved by the Generalitat in July is illegal or not. As it has not been declared unconstitutional, it can only decide whether the decree protects the guarantees.

"The determination of its legality [of the decree of the Generalitat] will have to be made using as a canon the rules of the decree law itself exclusively, as it is the normal legal basis for those acts," the State Attorney argues. In fact, it recalls that the norm has not been "declared unconstitutional" nor has it been "suspended" as a precautionary measure. In the report, State lawyer Consuelo Castro Rey avoids taking sides on this issue because she believes that it is not up to her to do so.

The Court of Auditors asked the State lawyer before the Court of Auditors, Rafael García Monteys, whether he believed the guarantees presented by the Generalitat through the ICF were legal. This measure had been taken to avoid the defendants having to respond with their own assets. Monteys escalated the request to the highest representative of the State Attorney's Office, because he did not believe he should take sides. "The preliminary proceedings are instruction activities that have the exclusive purpose of preparing the prosecution activity that corresponds to the Court of Auditors," Castro states in his report. Thus, he considers that as it is an administrative phase, the principles of "impartiality and objectivity" must be applied, as well as the principles of "contradiction and equality"

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