11.01.2017 - 13:58
Actualització: 12.01.2017 - 12:03
The former Catalan Minister and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, may be banned from public office for 9 years; at least, this is what the Prosecutor of the Spanish Supreme Court has requested after summonsing Homs for disobedience and perversion of justice when co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. The Prosecutor’s temporary conclusions, which were published this Wednesday, stated that Homs ‘didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation to take place and which were accountable to the Department of the Presidency’ which Homs led at that time. The document emphasises that former Catalan President, Artur Mas’ right-hand man was ‘absolutely aware’ that ‘by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions’.
On Twitter, Homs assured that the Court’s decision ‘proves that the Spanish State has a less democratic culture each day’ and that puts Catalonia ‘in a cul-de-sac’.
The Prosecutor calls for applying the sentence for both crimes as a whole and suspending Homs from holding public office ‘in the state, autonomic and local framework’ and also banning him from undertaking functions of government on the same scales.
Mas acted ‘irrationally’
According to the Prosecutor, after the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspended the symbolic consultation, Homs, together with Catalan President at that time, Artur Mas, former Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau ‘agreed on a common strategy to defy, completely and effectively, the suspension’. ‘Artur Mas, only backed by his own willingness’ acted ‘irrationally’ and ‘promoted all the public actions which were already underway’ oriented toward holding the consultation.
‘Homs played a key role’ in the 9-N
Once the symbolic vote was suspended, Homs ‘actively promoted the preparatory tasks of the consultation’ and ‘put the juridical services of his department’, that of the Presidency, ‘at the Telecommunications and Information Technologies Centre’s disposal in order to take legal action before an eventual suspension’. In conclusion, he ‘promoted the developing of the consultation after being informed of the TC’s suspension’. ‘Homs played a key role’ the document states and points out that on the 6th of November Homs sent a letter to the Telecommunications and Information Technologies Centre’s President ‘giving legitimacy and promoting the continuation of the preparatory tasks’ emphasising that they were ‘not affected by the TC’s provisions’.
Homs testified before the Court in September
The former Catalan Minister and PDeCAT’s spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified before the Spanish Supreme Court last September. In his statement, Homs followed three argumentative lines. Firstly, the legality of the Catalan process and the consultation, according to the Catalan Parliament mandate. Secondly, the feeling, or even ‘the confirmation’, that the main institutions of the Spanish State have acted in ‘an arbitrary and partial manner’, copycatting People’s Party (PP) interests. Finally, the evidence that his is a ‘political’ case and not a judicial one. ‘We have the feeling that the sentence has already been dictated, even before listening to the parties involved’, the former Minister stressed.
In a press conference after his statement, Homs said that the Catalan Government acted following ‘the Catalan Parliament mandate and within a legal framework’. The aim, he added, was to protect ‘citizens’ fundamental rights’ to have their say on a political issue. The PDC spokesman in Madrid defended before the Supreme Court the ‘legality’ of the consultation and claimed that the current Catalan Government would today act in the same way as it did in 2014.
Besides this, the former Catalan Minister also stressed that the Spanish public prosecutor’s office is ‘copycatting PP interests’, and that this is proven in the several tapes in which where the Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and former Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel De Alfonso, appear plotting to discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties. The scandal emerged last June, after the Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ published the recorded conversations.
The former Catalan Minister also stated that his trial was a ‘political process and not a judicial one’. Therefore he feels that his ‘sentence has been already been dictated’ and that it is going to be ‘condemnatory and not absolving’. The PDC spokesman claimed that he is not going to ‘politically’ accept the sentence dictated by the Court because it will not have ‘the guarantees it should’ have.
Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, who has been summonsed for the same case together with Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, backed Homs prior to his statement. Other Catalan Ministers such as Santi Vila, Meritxell Borràs, Meritxell Serret and Neus Munté, and the left-wing pro-independence party ERC spokesperson in the Spanish Government, Joan Tardà, were also present in front of the entrance to the Supreme Court the day Homs appeared to give testimony.