The Constitutional Court has endorsed the sentences to three years in prison that the Supreme Court imposed on the eight defendants for the blockade of the Parliament of Catalonia that took place in 2011, legal sources inform elDiario.es. The conservative majority of the court has supported the presentation of the magistrate Antonio Narváez, who defends that these events cannot go unpunished and proposed to reject the appeal for protection of the convicted persons. The sentence has had six votes in favor and four against, those of the progressive minority formed by the magistrates María Luisa Balaguer, Cándido Conde-Pumpido, Encarnación Roca and Juan Antonio Xiol.
Artur Mas, on the blockade of Parliament: “There was an attitude of violence beyond the protest”
It is the second time that this matter reaches the full court after the beginning of the month was rejected by seven votes to four the proposal of the first speaker, Conde-Pumpido, who was inclined to uphold the appeal of one of the convicted against the resolution of the Supreme Court that convicted them of a crime against State institutions. Then, the plenary session agreed to the appointment of a new rapporteur who would draft a new resolution with the majority opinion of the court to endorse the sentences and reject the amparo.
The events date back to June 15, 2011, when from the 15-M encampment in Plaza Catalunya the population was summoned under the slogan “Aturem el Parlament” (“Let’s stop the Parliament”) to avoid the approval of the first CiU government cuts and a package of measures – the Omnibus law – that modified eighty laws at once. The protest resulted in a blockade of access to the Parliament and caused the passage of many of the deputies and, among them, the then president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, who had to access the building by helicopter along with other parliamentarians.
The National Court acquitted those accused of crimes against State institutions, attack and illicit association, considering that they were protected by their right to demonstrate. But the Prosecutor’s Office, the Generalitat and the Parliament appealed and the Supreme Court sentenced eight of them to three years in prison for a crime against State institutions. The High Court based its ruling on the fact that freedom of expression and the right to assembly cannot paralyze other rights, such as political participation through legitimate representatives.