The Supreme Court has launched the process to apply the recently published amnesty law to the different cases related to the independence process. Both Judge Pablo Llarena and the Chamber that sentenced the process and, finally, the judge investigating Carles Puigdemont for terrorism, have requested allegations from the parties so that they report in the coming days on the impact of this law in all cases. Llarena also recalled that the national arrest warrant against the former Catalan president and the rest of the defendants is still active and that, therefore, they will be arrested if they enter Spain.

The Official State Gazette published this Tuesday the amnesty law approved by Congress on May 30 with 177 votes in favor of the majority that supports the Government and the votes against of PP, Vox, UPN and Canarian Coalition. A rule that seeks to archive all cases or revoke all convictions related to the Catalan independence process and that has an impact, among others, on Carles Puigdemont, still accused of the original cause of the process and now also investigated for terrorism in the ‘Democratic Tsunami’ case.

Different factions of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court have been the first to move and have asked the parties to the various proceedings related to the process to report on how the amnesty law affects open or already sentenced cases. Both Judge Pablo Llarena and the Criminal Chamber and Judge Susana Polo. One of those parties that will have to inform will be the Prosecutor’s Office with the anticipation of a new internal conflict: the four prosecutors of the procés case have already informed the attorney general, Álvaro García Ortiz, that in his opinion the amnesty does not save Puigdemont from the accusation of embezzlement that weighs on him in the case being investigated by Llarena.

In the case of Llarena, who investigated the main cause of the process and has been trying for years to bring Carles Puigdemont to Spain to be tried, remember that both he and Toni Comín, Lluís Puig and Marta Rovira have a national arrest warrant within Spain. The Police and the Civil Guard, explains the judge, “must proceed to comply with them as long as these decisions are not judicially modified or revoked.” Carles Puigdemont, in the process of electing a new president for the Generalitat of Catalonia whom he intends to present as a candidate for investiture, cannot enter Spain without being detained.

The instructor of the procés case recognizes that it is the job of the legislature to establish “the criteria to benefit from the amnesty,” but adds that it is the job of the judiciary “to identify the specific people included in the scope of application.”

Embezzlement, disobedience and terrorism

The final version of the amnesty law, after an initial parliamentary failure, included terrorism crimes in certain cases. Also the obligation to make decisions preferentially on those cases in which there were precautionary measures imposed on the accused, as in the case of Carles Puigdemont, who has a search and arrest warrant within Spain pending the judge’s decision. Llarena decided whether or not to reactivate international orders.

Courts and tribunals, especially in Catalonia and the Supreme Court, maintain open cases regarding the process or have issued sentences that have already been declared final and that may also be affected by the new law. Also the National Court, where Judge Manuel García-Castellón has also asked the parties if the amnesty affects those investigated in Tsunami Democràtic whose case was not elevated to the Supreme Court.


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