Separatist trial judgement: no defencelessness
1. Let us continue. Following the illogical conclusion of the proven facts that we analysed yesterday—"Citizens were mobilised to prove that judges in Catalonia had lost their jurisdictional capacity”—how does the Supreme Court begin to fit it all into the law?
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 9:45 am | On Twitter
2. The First Minister of Catalonia, Torra, last night thanked those who took part in the riots in Catalonia yesterday, "against the injustice of the sentences for the political prisoners. Together we have made our voice felt firmer and more determined than ever before".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 9:50 am | On Twitter
3. So far today, separatists on their Telegram channels say there is a small group of students on a back road near a town called Gurb and another small group on the train tracks near a town called Cabrera.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 9:56 am | On Twitter
4. Cuixart put forward “an analysis of the socio-political context in which the mass violation of the rights of the defendants and, in general, of the citizens of Catalonia” took place because of a theory of “the overprotection of the territorial unity of Spain”.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:01 am | On Twitter
5. This has been referred to as "democratic criminal law versus the criminal law of the enemy".
—"The defence is not correct", the Supreme Court rules: “The protection of the territorial unity of Spain is not an extravagance that makes our constitutional system singular".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:04 am | On Twitter
6. Spain's Supreme Court highlights several European constitutions:
- Germany: the nation's existence may not be "put in danger"
- France: "indivisible"
- Italy: "one and indivisible"
- Portugal: "unitary"
- Hungary: "there is only one nation"
- Slovakia: "unbreakable"
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:12 am | On Twitter
7. "What Mr Cuixart's defence calls an overprotection of territorial unity was nothing but the legitimate action of two jurisdictional bodies".
A Public Prosecutor's orders: "can never be taken as the pathological expression of a repressive policy".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:18 am | On Twitter
8. Regarding the use of Catalan in the trial, Cuixart argued that: "since the Spanish Supreme Court has not assumed the plurilinguistic nature of the Spanish State, the only way to guarantee the linguistic rights of the parties is for the trial to be held in Catalonia".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:21 am | On Twitter
9. And it wasn't just Cuixart. Junqueras, Romeva, Sánchez, Rull, Turull and Forcadell all also made arguments to the Supreme Court about the use of Catalan, calling for simultaneous [live] translation for "the practice of any trial proceeding in Catalan".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:25 am | On Twitter
10. The Supreme Court decided two things were more important: the principle of the publicity of the trial over the use of Catalan with headphones for everyone listening, and "the true constitutional meaning of plurilingualism in our system".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:30 am | On Twitter
11. The Supreme Court even hired "two sworn interpreters of Catalan" FOR THE WHOLE TRIAL but ALL of the defendants REJECTED the possibility of using them, "expressly renouncing what they claimed as their right and replying to questions in Spanish".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:37 am | On Twitter
12. All the defendants were fluent in Spanish and proved "their argumentative capacity, dialectical soundness and, in some cases, the brilliance of their presentations" before the court, which “dispel any doubt about the alleged defencelessness” due to linguistic reasons.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:41 am | On Twitter
13. “The circumstances that have conditioned our decision are linked to the uniqueness of this trial, which took place in oral sessions that lasted four months and were televised in their entirety via streaming.”
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:48 am | On Twitter
14. Catalan (or Basque or Galician) may be used "in the case of trial proceedings that take place in the territory of an autonomous community [Spanish region]". The Supreme Court, as a state-level court is "outside this territorial space".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:54 am | On Twitter
15. No piece of legislation confers "an unconditional right to the use of the language of an autonomous community in trial proceedings outside its own territory. Territory […] operates as a true criteria of officiality".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:00 am | On Twitter
16. Just as during the four-month trial we learned a lot not only about what happened in 2017 in Catalonia but also about how Spain works as a country, the 493-page trial judgement is going to teach us a lot about what the Supreme Court thinks about the limits of the nation.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:04 am | On Twitter
17. "There is therefore no right to use a mechanism for simultaneous translation that obliges the Supreme Court to oversee the presentation of evidence and the arguments of the parties in a language other than the official language" [Spanish, in this case].
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:11 am | On Twitter
18. To sum up: there is no right to use Catalan at the Supreme Court but two sworn interpreters of Catalan were hired by the court just in case and ALL the defendants rejected them. There were no language problems with the investigation stage, police questioning or appeals.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:17 am | On Twitter
19. The Supreme Court confirms that the Spanish Constitution does not include a "Supreme Court take-away" service in order to make defendants more comfortable during their trial.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:25 am | On Twitter
20. "Out of the enormous number of people who testified in during the trial sessions, only three announced, as witnesses, their desire to express themselves in Catalan", says the Supreme Court, which describes those three testimonies as irrelevant.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:29 am | On Twitter
21. The judges rejected the question of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as the appropriate court to hear the case—again an attempt by the defence teams to get it sent back to Catalonia—from day one and with a reference to the Statute of Catalonia itself:
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:38 am | On Twitter
22. Two of the offences for which they have been tried—rebellion and sedition, "collective crimes"— also influenced the decision to try them at the Supreme Court. Not so the six members of the Catalan Parliament sent back to Catalonia on contempt charges, an individual crime.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 11:51 am | On Twitter
23. The ANC fires the starting gun for the five separatist columns that will slowly advance on foot towards Barcelona. They will set off tomorrow morning and arrive Friday at noon.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 1:08 pm | On Twitter
24. Impartiality and the recusal of judges: Supreme Court describes "how the questioning of the impartiality of the Judges in this Chamber has been CONTINUOUS". Almost all of the judges involved in the case have been subject to a recusal request from the defence teams.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 1:46 pm | On Twitter
25. The Supreme Court details, over 30 pages, how defence teams executed “a strategy of DEMONISATION of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court […] a group of seven disciplined officials willing to exercise the REVENGE OF THE STATE because of the secessionist process”.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 1:50 pm | On Twitter
26. Llarena, Marchena himself, Magro, Arrieta, Varela, Berdugo, Moral, Palomo and Ferrer, all the judges were subject to some recusal request by the defence teams at some point during the long investigation and trial process.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 1:55 pm | On Twitter
27. “The right to an impartial judge is one of the pillars on which the right to a fair trial is built […] Our system does not impose on the defendant the submissive acceptance of a trial by judges whom he does not consider to be impartial", writes Spain's Supreme Court.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 1:56 pm | On Twitter
28. "The recusal of the members of the court has therefore become a routine that has been used, in a continuous manner, as an instrument to delegitimise the Supreme Court"
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 1:58 pm | On Twitter
29. Between 2014 and 2018, the Supreme Court saw 2,503 matters from Catalonia:
- Barcelona: 1,869
- Tarragona: 158
- Lérida: 123
- Gerona: 215
- Whole region: 123
In how many of those matters was there a recusal request against a Supreme Court judge?
0. Zero. None at all.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:02 pm | On Twitter
30. Recusal "as a means of ensuring a fair trial, has given way to recusal designed to wear down, via insistence, the public credibility of the Supreme Court and its appearance of impartiality".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:08 pm | On Twitter
31. The Supreme Court trial "has been obstinately presented as a tedious and expendable obstacle in the path to the European Court of Human Rights, the only court capable of reversing the injustice of our judgment”.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:09 pm | On Twitter
32. They did not complain about the lack of impartiality at the Supreme Court when they appealed the ruling of the National High Court on the siege of the Catalan Parliament in 2011, the day Artur Mas had to reach the regional chamber by helicopter.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:13 pm | On Twitter
33. Over five pages, Marchena lists 17 special cases related to Catalonia with "first order political significance" that the Supreme Court has ruled on since 2014. The defendants accepted "the outcome of all these other cases".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:19 pm | On Twitter
34. Regarding the political nature of Spain's judicial council, Supreme Court compares with other countries:
- Belgium: Senate appoints 22 members
- Portugal: President and Senate appoint 9
- France: "their model is strongly governmental"
- Italy: Parliament appoints 8/27
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:25 pm | On Twitter
35. A well-known WhatsApp message by a PP senator about Marchena—the PP would control the Supreme Court "by the back door"—is left as the personal opinion of the senator. The impartiality of the judge cannot be suspected because of something a third party did or said.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 2:31 pm | On Twitter
36. The lack of access to documents from Court No. 13 in Barcelona has not affected this trial, the Supreme Court rules: the aims of the investigation and trial in each court are different.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:40 pm | On Twitter
37. "…none of the documents or reports that the Public Prosecutor or other prosecutions have been able to provide in evidence has been brought into the present case without the possibility of contradiction by the defence teams".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:42 pm | On Twitter
38. Did [Secretary of State] Irene Lozano's statements to the BBC create defenceless? She said, "…the fact that there are political leaders who HAVE COMMITTED criminal offences that are being tried is not something that usually happens". That "have committed"…
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:48 pm | On Twitter
39. Supreme Court describes Lozano's words as “awkward”, “anticipated and unacceptable affirmation of guilt shared by not a few political representatives”, but it was entirely irrelevant in terms of the trial.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:49 pm | On Twitter
40. There was a lot of talk about @maquiavelo1984 and @JDanielBaena accounts on Twitter, but the Supreme Court says the Civil Guard Lt. Colonel testified and that is that: “Nothing that was put on these social networks has been used in the evaluation of evidence by this court".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:53 pm | On Twitter
41. Supreme Court: "The debate on the merits of a pardon, when none of the accused has yet been convicted, is an eloquent example of a lack of rigour and institutional responsibility".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:56 pm | On Twitter
42. Having decided not to include either the event or the content of his October 3, 2017 speech in the proven facts of the case, the Supreme Court mentions King Felipe for the first time on page 147, to confirm that he has no obligation to testify at the trial: he is the King.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 5:59 pm | On Twitter
43. Supreme Court describes the attempt to include Puigdemont as a witnesses when the fugitive defendant was supposed to be in the dock accused of rebellion and the misuse of public funds as "extravagant" and "procedural schizophrenia".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 6:04 pm | On Twitter
44. The Supreme Court on Vox acting as a private prosecution at the trial: "the very presence of that party […] is truly disturbing".
"The presence of political parties in criminal proceedings is certainly not positive".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 6:14 pm | On Twitter
45. Supreme Court advocates restricting the use of private prosecutions by political parties for electoral purposes. It's not just Vox, the judges write, the separatists have tried it too.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 6:18 pm | On Twitter
46. There were university lecturers and professors for every taste, says the Supreme Court. 70 over here, 500 over there; 200 on this side, 400 on the other. Whether one preferred one version or another, the business of the court was to hear actual evidence at trial.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 6:44 pm | On Twitter
47. So much testimony by so many hundreds of police officers and citizens about Oct 1 and Sept 20, 2o17 and it was all tainted "by a deep emotional burden" leading to "selective memory" and “partial recall" in all witnesses that "greatly weakens" the evidence, Supreme Court says.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:00 pm | On Twitter
48. "Only then can it be understood, for example, that the version of many of the officers would later be called into question when observing the content of the videos. The claim that defensive instruments were not used was sometimes disproven by the reality of the images".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:03 pm | On Twitter
49. One witness said the officers had lifted him up by his testicles but was only treated for a bruise on his knee…
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:05 pm | On Twitter
50. A female lawyer in Manresa testified that an officer managed to get a swollen testicle because “the officers 'were very close to each other and the shields and batons are very close".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:09 pm | On Twitter
51. Marchena on Esquerra MP and Twitter user @gabrielrufian: "Mr. Rufian's political militancy is a notorious fact […] not only is it known to anyone who is minimally well informed, but it is also the object of legitimate and permanent affirmation by Mr. Rufian himself".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:18 pm | On Twitter
52. “A witness who does not offer facts but personal assessment during his testimony is turning his back on the reason for his being at trial. The witness does not opine or evaluate. The witness narrates. He must limit his account to what he saw and perceived by the senses".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:23 pm | On Twitter
53. The testimony of Marina Garcés was "manifestly worthless. Nothing she said, nothing she judged, nothing she replied, according to an agreed upon script, has had any influence on the proclamation of proven facts".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:28 pm | On Twitter
54. Marchena spends nine pages justifying that last question he himself asked former Catalan Police chief Trapero to conclude that "the answer given by the witness to that question is totally irrelevant for the purpose of constructing the account of the proven facts".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:37 pm | On Twitter
55. The web designer, Teresa Guix, Mrs. "I don't remember", a phrase she repeated at least seven times to the prosecutor's questions, although she admitted it was indeed a web page she had designed.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:45 pm | On Twitter
56. Mr. Pina should not complain about Marchena's bollocking over his use of phrase "the law of rites". Judge also said he was “a serious lawyer”, an “extraordinary procedural lawyer”. Criminal procedure is a “set of rights and guarantees”.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 7:56 pm | On Twitter
57. The right to decide does not exist "for a part of those citizens residing in an autonomous community".
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 8:06 pm | On Twitter
58. Lots of talk about the “right to decide” but they took great care not to include any reference to that right in their Legal Transition and Referendum Acts, says the Supreme Court, which on the other hand defined the physical limits of “Catalonia” very well indeed.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 8:09 pm | On Twitter
59. We shall rest for today, on page 205. Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting. More tomorrow. We're getting close now to how this all fits to the specific crimes they have been convicted of.
Published: Oct 15, 2019, 8:13 pm | On Twitter
Get original, detailed, independent reporting and analysis of the stories changing Spain. Full-text articles delivered right to your inbox, in English. You can also choose to get them in Spanish. No ads, no spam. Just readers.