Ot Serra, 13 December 2023
Supreme Court Judge Francisco Marín JUAN MANUEL SERRANO / EUROPA PRESS
Several members of the PSOE, but also the PP, have denounced the existence of judicial ‘lawfare’
MADRID-New crisis between justice and Spanish government. The president of Supreme Court, Francisco Marín Castán, canceled this morning a meeting that he had scheduled with Minister of Justice, Félix Bolaños. The official version is “ensuing reasons”, but sources from the high court suggest that the “context” of criticism of judges that has been made in recent hours has had something to do with it. The most notable are those made this Tuesday by Junts spokesperson, Míriam Nogueras, who accused magistrates such as Manuel Marchena, Carlos Lesmes and Concepción Espejel of being “indecent”, although there were also accusations of lawfare from Podemos after the Neurona case was filed, and also of the PP before José Ricardo de Prada, the judge who wrote the Gürtel ruling and pointed out the responsibility of the group then directed by Mariano Rajoy.
From those around Bolaños they point out that this Tuesday the minister made a closed defense of the judges in response to several questions during the control session in the Senate. “The judges act independently,” he responded to the Junts spokesperson in the upper house, Josep Lluís Cleries, when he criticized the actions of the courts in cases such as the Democratic Tsunami. The PP also asked him to clarify if he believed that there were judges who had practiced lawfare in sentences linked to the Process, and he was blunt: “The answer is no.”
Later, in the halls of Congress, Bolaños stressed that he firmly believes in the words he spoke, and this Wednesday he reaffirmed himself. “I will always defend the judges so that they do their work independently. I will defend them from the attacks and disqualifications of independentists, but also from the very long hand that the PP has, which always tries to influence the judiciary. My task is to ensure that they can act independently, without interference and with sufficient means. This is what I will dedicate myself to,” he stated in statements to the media.
In this Tuesday’s session in the Lower House, President Francina Armengol refused to remove the disqualifications of Nogueras from the session diary, at the request of the PP. This Wednesday, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo referred to her as “alleged president” and several spokespersons from the right criticized the Spanish government for tolerating the expressions of her investiture allies. At this point, both sides recognize the existence of lawfare, despite shouting to the sky with the concept that Junts managed to include in the pact with the PSOE to vote favorably in Sánchez’s candidacy.
This Tuesday, Judge Juan José Escalonilla filed, after three years of investigation, a case regarding an alleged misappropriation of funds and an electoral crime against Podemos for a contract with a Mexican consulting firm from 2019. It is a case that was deflating due to the lack of signs of irregularities but which has remained open for many months. The lilac party denounces that it was alive only because of the desire to persecute that formation and “discredit it.” The Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, subscribed through X: “I don’t believe in witches, but there are some.”
The PP also denounces ‘lawfare’
But the PP also believes that there has been lawfare, although it has not provoked the indignation of the judicial establishment. In the control session in the Senate this Tuesday, the former president of Extremadura José Antonio Monago assured that “the biggest” case of an episode of judicial dirty war has been the one that, in his opinion, was carried out by magistrate José Ricardo de Prada with the “paragraph” of the ruling of the Gürtel of the National Court that incriminated the PP. A fragment that was later amended by the Supreme Court.
Statement from the SUPREME COURT