Judicialisation
Politics 21/09/2021

Spanish Attorney General refuses to take position on ICF guarantees in Court of Auditors case

She says she cannot take a stance but recalls the Generalitat's decree has not been suspended

2 min
The headquarters of the Court of Auditors, the body that asks for a bail of more than 5.4 million euros to senior officials of the Catalan government for foreign action.

MadridThe State Attorney's Office will not respond to the Court of Auditors on whether it should accept the Catalan Institute of Finances (ICF) guarantees in the Court of Auditors case, but has recalled that the the decree law through which the fund was created has not been suspended or declared unconstitutional. Spanish Attorney General Consuelo Castro Rey's opinion had been expected for weeks and has been published this Tuesday. The Court of Auditors asked State Attorney Rafael García Monteys if he believed the mechanism that some thirty defendants had chosen to deal the bonds was legal, after the Generalitat created a risk fund created that enabled the ICF to act as insurer of public workers so their assets are not preventively seized.

The State's lawyer doubted whether he ought to respond because he had taken part in the investigation phase of the procedure and escalated the issue to the Attorney General. After many days waiting for the answer, Castro Rey has agreed with her subordinate and urges him not to answer the request of the investigating delegate, Esperanza García. According to the Ministry of Justice, on which the State Attorney General's Office depends, it is not appropriate to issue the report because it has taken part in the previous proceedings of the case. Castro Rey argues that the principles of "impartiality and objectivity" must be preserved, as well as those of "contradiction and equality" between the parties

In this sense, she underlines that if only the opinion of one of the parties is asked for, it could "suggest the predisposition of the court to follow" its criteria and the principles of contradiction and equality would be "affected", because it has not asked what the other parties think. Although it does not answer the question, the Attorney General reminded the Court of Aufitors it must take into account the current legal framework": The accusation must be judged in accordance with Catalina's law 15/2021, which "created the complimentary risk fund, which has not been declared either unconstitutional nor preventively suspended".

The decree law therefore remains in force, despite the fact that the Prosecutor's Office has already activated the investigation, as explained by ARA on Tuesday. The public prosecutor's office is investigating the facts following a complaint filed by Ciutadans for an alleged crime of embezzlement of public funds and has summoned the independent members of the governing board of the ICF who participated in the meeting to grant the guarantees as witnesses, Núria Orriols reports. For the time being, the measure has the backing of the Council of Statutory Guarantees, which unanimously considered that the Catalan Government's decree law was within the constitutional framework.

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