The Council of Europe has published a press release in which it denies that the Spanish government pressurised for changes in the Venice Commission’s text on the Reformation of the Constitutional Court.

The communiqué recognises the authenticity of the internal document published by VilaWeb, but says that it is not one of corrections that the Spanish government wanted to introduce, but rather changes agreed by the sub commission informing the meeting of the Venice Commission.

The text says, ‘The Spanish authorities did not take part in the sub commission and exerted no pressure on the sub commission.’ It is likewise significant that the communiqué takes such care in affirming that the Spanish government did not pressure the sub commission and avoids referring to the plenary meeting of the commission and to the gathering as a whole, because, contradictorily, on the Council of Europe’s website there is the summary of the meeting , in which it is revealed that a ‘lawyer-agent of the Spanish state’, Rafael Andrés Leon Cavero, was present and able to talk.

VilaWeb wishes to clarify that it obtained the internal document from entirely verified sources and that the sources made it clear at all times that the corrections were the effective result of the pressure from the Spanish state, which is why the changes in the document are indicated as such.

The full content of the press release is as follows:

«Clarification on published document concerning the Venice Commission’s opinion on the act amending the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court of Spain

Strasbourg, 14.03.2017 – Some media reports refer to a document as expressing the Spanish governments´ proposed amendments to a draft of the Venice Commission´s opinion on the act amending the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court of Spain. These reports are false. The Venice Commission clarifies that the document that has been apparently leaked reflects changes agreed in the Venice Commission´s sub-commission on constitutional justice before the plenary session, which is clearly reflected in the heading, and not amendments proposed by the Spanish government.

The Spanish authorities indeed did not participate in the meeting of the sub-commission, and did not exert any pressure on the sub-commission. It is a normal practice of the Venice Commission to discuss important opinions in the specialised sub-commission among the interested Venice Commission members before they go to the plenary.»

[VilaWeb no és com els altres. Fer un diari compromès i de qualitat té un cost alt i només amb el vostre suport econòmic podrem continuar creixent. Cliqueu aquí.]