Politics 05/05/2021

The Barcelona hearing leaves Torra one step away from his second trial for the banner in favour of the political prisoners

Dismissal of the appeal by the former president of the Generalitat, who sees a "repressive determination"

2 min
The banner in support of the prisoners at the Palau de la Generalitat

BarcelonaQuim Torra is one step away from being tried for the second time for not having taken down the banner in support of political prisoners from the Palau de la Generalitat in September 2019, as ordered by the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) following an appeal by the entity Impulso Ciudadano. The Court of Barcelona has dismissed the appeal of the former president of the Generalitat and has endorsed his prosecution for a crime of disobedience. Now the parties will have to present their briefs of accusation and defense. Torra was already convicted of the same crime by the High Court for not having unhooked the same banner in March 2019 after the requirements of the Central Electoral Board (JEC). His disqualification became firm in September last year, when it was ratified by the Supreme Court.

In the order consulted by the Efe agency, the Barcelona High Court concludes that Torra "more than exhausted" the deadline given to him by the High Court to remove the banner from the balcony of the Generalitat. The court issued an order giving the former president of the Generalitat 48 hours to remove the banner, but Torra argued that he did not remove it because the decision was not final and could be appealed. In addition, he also argued that the banner was an exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, political participation, and the exercise of representative office.

The seventh section of the Court also dismisses the defencelessness that the defense of Quim Torra had alleged and reminds him that the fact that the precautionary measures agreed by the High Court were appealed does not prevent its execution or its "mandatory compliance". The room discards, in addition, the argument of Torra that the investigating judge lost impartiality by pointing out in his interlocutory indications that the former Catalan president incurred in a "contumacious rebellion" before the court order. The court argues in an order that once the investigation of a case is over, "the investigating judge is required to take a position on the sufficiency of the evidence", which entails "losing a certain prior position of neutrality".

Torra sees "repressive determination" in the Audiencia's decision

In a statement, Quim Torra's office maintains that it neither trusts nor "recognises the capacity of the Spanish judicial bodies to administer justice in Catalonia" and denounces that this resolution demonstrates "once again their repressive determination in defence of a specific political interest in favour of the indivisible unity of the Spanish state". "In the Kingdom of Spain there is no justice for the Catalan pro-independence supporters, only thirst for revenge against the democratic outburst that reached its peak in October 2017. Since then, the state of autonomies has only administered repression and political persecution against a legitimate and democratic political project", adds the statement.