Beatriz Parera 5 May 2021
Oriol Junqueras – EFE
The Supreme Court has surprised this Wednesday by requesting a new criterion on the pardon of the prisoners of the ‘procés’: that of the convicted themselves. In a decision adopted by the Criminal Chamber of the high court – which has pending to issue its report on whether or not to grant thanks to those convicted of sedition and embezzlement – the Supreme Court (TS) has addressed the leader of ERC Oriol Junqueras and the rest of the Catalan politicians linked to the procedure to ask them if they think they should benefit from the pardon that is currently being processed.
Specifically, the Second Chamber has given a period of five days for allegations to the 12 people convicted in the case of the ‘procés’ to express what they consider appropriate in relation to the requests for pardon made in their favor. In 12 orders of similar content, one for each of the convicted persons, it is agreed to give this hearing to said persons since the request for pardon for them is promoted by third parties and institutions. All of them have a common term of five days to express what they consider “convenient about that request” and formulate, if they consider it appropriate, “allegations prior to the preparation” by the Chamber of the report on pardons provided by law. The criterion of the 12 will thus be added to the one that has already been issued by both the Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court and the State Attorney. It will be collected before the sentencing court itself issues its own, indicated legal sources consulted. The State Bar did not expressly support the granting of pardons to convicted politicians, but it did put the accent on repairing the economic damage associated with the crime of embezzlement after the delivery of a bond of 4.1 million euros in the Court of Accounts . The legal services of the State did not issue a favorable report and limited themselves to making this assessment that, yes, can serve as a ‘hanger’ for the Executive to position itself in the future on grace.
The criterion of the Lawyer was added to that of the Prosecutor’s Office. His assessment should be one of the three that the high court will send to the Government for study by the Council of Ministers. However, after the decision on Wednesday, they increase to 15 reports. The Public Ministry has already ruled against pardoning the 12 convicted for the commission of crimes of sedition, embezzlement and disobedience. For prosecutors – much more emphatic in their arguments than the legal services of the State – condoning sentences when the public function performed by the convicted has been the necessary vehicle for the commission of the crime would be a decision “as unjustified as arbitrary.” They also stressed that article 102.2 of the Constitution prohibits pardon for presidents and other members of the Government “if the accusation is for treason or for any crime against the security of the State in the exercise of their functions.” The criterion of the court will be the last, but, in previous resolutions, such as the third degree, the magistrates have made their position clear and it is expected that they will oppose this grace.
The pardon is always of an exceptional nature and consists of the total or partial remission of the penalties of those convicted by final judgment. It requires, for its processing, the preparation of a report from the sentencing court that is not binding on the Government, which can do whatever it considers to be. However, and although the prerogative to grant it belongs to the Executive, another Chamber of the Supreme Court, the Litigation Chamber, would be in charge of reviewing it if an appeal was filed against it, which the PP has already announced that it will present. The possibility of review by the Justice dates back to the year 2000. At that time, the Third Chamber recognized for the first time its ability to control this measure of grace and since then it has been developing doctrine in this regard.
Cuixart wants amnesty
The president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, has responded to the high court that he has not asked for any pardon, since he does not regret anything, and that his priority is not to get out of jail but to resolve the “political conflict” in Catalonia, starting with amnesty as a “collective response”.