The trial to process is already underway. The former Vice President of the Generalitat Oriol Junqueras and 11 other independence leaders will be judged from this Tuesday in the Supreme Court for the attempted secession of Catalonia from the rest of Spain in the fall of 2017. This attempt included the approval in the Parliament of laws of rupture with the State, the organization and celebration of an illegal referendum that had been banned by the Constitutional Court, and the unilateral declaration of independence of October 27, 2017, which triggered the application of Article 155 of the Constitution and intervention of Catalan autonomy. The High Court estimates that the sessions will last around three months and that more than 500 witnesses will appear. These are the keys to the process.
12 keys to understand the trial of ‘procés’ SPECIAL Here the ‘procés’ will be judged
12 keys to understand the trial of ‘procés’ SPECIAL Who is who in the ‘procés’
12 keys to understand the trial of ‘procés’ Story of a challenge in five acts
- What is judged?
The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, chaired by Manuel Marchena, must decide whether the conduct of the accused during the process of at least two years that culminated in the unilateral declaration of independence fits the crimes of rebellion, sedition or embezzlement that they appreciate. the accusations. The court will examine, through the statements of defendants, witnesses and experts, as well as with the various documentary evidence, if in the key days of the procésthere were elements of “violent uprising” or “tumultuous” that require, respectively, the crimes of rebellion and sedition, which are among the most serious of the Penal Code. The altercations and incidents that, according to the Prosecution and the popular accusation of Vox, allow to speak of “violent” uprising occurred mainly on two specific dates: September 20, 2017 and October 1 of that year.
- What happened on September 20, 2017?
That day, a crowd of 40,000 people allegedly tried to prevent Operation Anubis from the Civil Guard against the preparations for the illegal consultation on October 1 before the Ministry of Economy of the Generalitat. This operation, ordered by the Court of Instruction 13 of Barcelona, led by the late Juan Antonio Ramírez Sunyer, was hampered by a human mass, convened by the then leaders of the sovereign entities Òmnium and ANC, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez . In the altercations, two vehicles of the Civil Guard were practically destroyed by the demonstrators and the lawyer of the court was forced to leave the Ministry through the roof.
- What happened on October 1?
On that day, the Generalitat of Catalonia chaired by Carles Puigdemont, applied the so-called disconnection laws approved on 6 and 7 September, and organized a referendum on independence. Although the illegal consultation had been suspended by the Constitutional Court – which had imposed coercive fines on the members of the so-called Electoral Trusteeship – and banned by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia, hundreds of polling stations opened that day throughout the community in an act of defiance to the Government.
The Executive of Mariano Rajoy responded with force to try to prevent the referendum . Thousands of national police and civil guards, mobilized from different parts of Spain, charged against the people who tried to vote in the illegal consultation and who prevented the judicial order to close the schools from being carried out. “We have done what we had to do, acting with the law and only the law,” Rajoy said at the time. The Government of Carles Puigdemont estimated in 844 people attended by medical services after the charges – many of them for bruises and anxiety attacks. One citizen lost one eye for police action and another was treated for a heart attack. According to the Government, 111 riot officers were injured on that day.
The Mossos d’Esquadra remained on that day in a passive attitude despite the fact that they also had the judicial mandate to avoid holding the referendum in coordination with the state security forces. Therefore, the dome of the Catalan police, with Major Josep Lluís Trapero, is prosecuted for rebellion in the National Court. The Mossos maintain that they acted in accordance with the judge’s order to guarantee “citizen coexistence”. The Generalitat claimed the validity of the consultation, in which the yes obtained 90% of the votes with a participation of 42% of the electoral census, according to their figures.
- Who are the accused?
The 12 political and civil leaders of the procés that will sit on the bench are the former vice-president of the Generalitat Oriol Junqueras; exconsellers Joaquim Forn (Interior), Jordi Turull (Presidency), Raül Romeva (Foreign), Dolors Bassa (Labor), Josep Rull (Territory), Meritxell Borràs (Government), Carles Mundó (Justice) and Santi Vila (Company); the former president of the Parliamentary Board Carme Forcadell; the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and the ex-leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Jordi Sànchez , current deputy of PDeCAT.
- Who is accused in the trial?
The three indicted accusations at the hearing are the Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court (represented by the prosecutors Consuelo Madrigal, Javier Zaragoza, Fidel Cadena and Jaime Moreno), the State Bar (represented by Rosa María Seoane State attorneys – chief of the criminal and Elena Sáenz), and the popular accusation of the extreme right party Vox (exercised by the party’s general secretary, Javier Ortega, and Pedro Fernández).
- What are they accused of?
The nine defendants in prison – Oriol Junqueras, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa, Josep Rull, Jordi Cuixart, Jordi Sànchez and Carme Forcadell – will be tried, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, for the crime of rebellion (the Legal Profession of the State has reduced the crime to sedition). Likewise, the first six, which during the independence process were members of the Govern, will be judged for embezzlement, as will former advisors Meritxell Borràs, Carles Mundó and Santi Vila. These last three are not accused of rebellion, but of disobedience. Vox also considers that the 12 committed a crime of criminal organization.
- Why is Carles Puigdemont not going to be judged?
The expresident Carles Puigemont has been fled from Spain since October 29, 2017 and is located in Waterloo (Belgium). The investigating judge of the case, Pablo Llarena, chose to withdraw the international and European arrest warrant issued against him and all the fugitives, who will only be tried if they return to Spain. The magistrate did so after the judicial authorities of Belgium and Germany rejected the delivery of Puigdemont to Spain for the crime of rebellion. In a similar situation there are the exconsejeros Antoni Comín (Health), Lluís Puig (Culture) and Meritxell Serret (Agriculture, Livestock and Fishing), escaped to Belgium; the ex-counselor Clara Ponsatí (Education), located in the United Kingdom, and the deputies Marta Rovira (Junts pel Yes) and Anna Gabriel (CUP) , fled to Switzerland.
- What penalties are the 12 defendants facing?
The Office of the Prosecutor asks Oriol Junqueras for 25 years in prison and disqualification (the State Bar, 12 years). For Joaquim Forn, Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa and Josep Rull, the public prosecutor asks for 16 years in prison and disqualification and the State Bar, 11 years and six months. Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart and Carme Forcadell face 17 years in prison and disqualification at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office; for the first two, the State Advocacy asks for eight years and for Forcadell, ten. These nine are the independence leaders in prison.
For those who are released on bail, Meritxell Borràs, Carles Mundó and Santi Vila, the Prosecutor’s Office requests seven years in prison and 16 years of disqualification, plus a fine of 30,000 euros. The State Advocacy requests for them, on the other hand, seven years in prison and 10 years of disqualification.
On the other hand, Vox asks for 20 disqualification for all the defendants, in addition to 74 years in prison for Junqueras, Forn, Turull, Romeva, Bassa and Rull; 62 years in prison for Sànchez, Cuixart and Forcadell, and 24 for Borràs, Mundó and Vila. All the defenses request the free acquittal of their representatives.
- Who will judge the facts?
The trial court is composed of seven magistrates of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court. The judges will sit in order of seniority in the high court. In the center, the president, Manuel Marchena , and on both sides the judges Andrés Martínez Arrieta, Juan Ramón Berdugo, Luciano Varela, Antonio del Moral, Andrés Palomo and Ana Ferrer. Although the magistrates have not intervened in the resolution of appeals in the investigation phase, Marchena, Berdugo, Martínez Arrieta and Varela were part of the court that granted the Supreme Court competence to investigate the role of the judges in the process.
- Who have been summoned as witnesses?
The Prosecutor’s Office has requested 256 witnesses and the State Advocacy has adhered to these petitions. The private accusation of Vox has asked for around 60. And the defense has requested more than 400 . The Chamber has accepted the appearance of more than 500, among which are the former president of the Government Mariano Rajoy; the president of the Parlament, Roger Torrent; the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau; the expresident Artur Mas, the lehendakari Íñigo Urkullu and deputies such as Gabriel Rufián and Joan Tardà. Instead, he has refused to testify to them as the King (because it prohibits the Law of Criminal Procedure), Puigdemont and others of the defendants who are declared in absentia in the same case.
- What are the phases of the trial?
The oral hearing will have four phases: the one of previous questions, the one of test, the one of conclusions and the one of report. At the beginning of the trial, the parties may present to the court what they deem appropriate, such as the violation of a fundamental right, and the magistrates may resolve them or defer the decision until the sentence. In the second stage, the statements of the accused, the witnesses and the experts, and the presentation of the documentary evidence will take place. Then the parties will issue their final conclusions, which will indicate what are the facts that have been committed, what are the crimes that are considered applicable and what penalties should be imposed for them.
Finally, the parties will present their arguments to the court in the following order: Prosecutor’s Office, lawyers for the accusations and attorneys for the accused. And finally, the defendants will have the right to the last word to say what they consider convenient. The trial will end and will be seen for sentencing.
- When will the sentence be known?
So far the intention of the Supreme Court is that the oral hearing ends in early May so that the sessions do not overlap with the municipal and autonomous elections of May 26. The magistrates estimate that the sentence will be ready before August, a non-working month for the high court.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
The Office of the Prosecutor sets the beginning of the Catalan independence challenge in September 2012, when the then president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas (Convergència), asked the Government of Mariano Rajoy (PP) for a “fiscal pact”, that is, a financing model for Catalonia better than the rest of the communities of the common system. Rajoy said no. A week later Mas dissolved the Parlament and called elections . Two days later, on September 27, 2012, the Catalan Chamber agreed, at the request of the president, to hold a self-determination consultation in the following legislature that would not be binding.