The Spanish Justice dictates unconditional imprisonment for all the ceased Catalan government
The judge of the National Court Carmen Lamela has decreed unconditional imprisonment without bail for the ex-Catalan president Oriol Junqueras and for seven former advisors, while it has imposed a bond of 50,000 euros to the former advisor of Santi Vila Company. The dismissed president Carles Puigdemont and three other councilors are in Belgium and have resisted traveling to Madrid to testify before the judge.
Spanish justice hasn’t wasted a breath with the Catalan separatist government, ceased in full on Friday, October 27 after the Senate approved the application of a constitutional law that allows de suspension of the autonomic powers of the region to restore the legal order.
The judge of the National Court, Carmen Lamela, decreed unconditional jail for all members of the dismissed Catalan government, except for the director of the Santi Vila Company, who resigned from his post before the Catalan Parliament approved by secret ballot the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalunya. Only the deputies of the separatist coalition that governed Catalonia since 2015, as well as the left party En Comú-Podem participated in the vote. The rest of deputies left the chamber considering that the proposal to vote the declaration of independence was unconstitutional.
The response of the State to the declaration of independence of Catalonia was the one that had already announced: to apply Article 155 of the Constitution - which allows suspending the Catalan government and Parliament - and calling for regional elections as soon as possible. The Catalan president - currently dismissed - Carles Puigdemont had the opportunity to call the elections himself to avoid the application of Article 155, but at the last minute, he decided to back down, claiming that he had not obtained enough guarantees from Madrid that it would not apply the 155. Former President Puigdemont then chose to leave in the hands of Parliament the decision to vote or not the independence of Catalonia.
During the last few days, the Spanish government has launched the application of article 155, which, in addition to suspending the government and parliament completely, has also involved the intervention of the Mossos, the Catalan law enforcement, and taking temporary control of the different government departments.
At the same time, the State Prosecutor's Office filed complaints for the crime of rebellion (a crime that can lead to up to 30 years in prison) against all members of the Government and the Parliament's Bureau. The Justice summoned them to a first preliminary hearing on November 2 and 3. Eight members of the Govern, including Vice President Oriol Junqueras, appeared before the judge of the National Court on Thursday, November 2. All of them have been sent to unconditional prison by order of the judge, who considers that there is a high risk of criminal reiteration, high probability of destruction of evidence and considers that the purchasing power of the investigated that can be used to leave the country cannot be ignored, according to La Vanguardia.
Among those who had to appear this Thursday before Judge Lamela were the dismissed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, and three other members of the government, who are "refugees" in Belgium. Through his lawyer, Puigdemont offered to give a statement via videoconference, but the offer was rejected. Spanish justice has ordered an arrest warrant against Puigdemont and the other three members of the Catalan government. The Belgian government has said it will cooperate with the Spanish justice system.
In Catalonia, the protests of the citizens didn’t wait. At 7 PM a demonstration against the imprisonment of the entire government - which was elected at the polls - took place. "Free the political prisoners", "shame", "shame for Europe" are the slogans that flood the social networks of the separatist movement.
Given the impossibility of meeting a "legal" independence referendum, there are no exact figures on the number of separatists in Catalonia - with a population of approximately 5.5. In the controversial plebiscite that took place on October 1 (and which the Spanish government tried to prevent with police charges because it was considered illegal), about 2.2 million people participated, and 90% voted "Yes."