The Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National High Court will meet on September 14 to deliberate and decide on the appeal filed by the Ministry of the Interior against the sentence of the Investigating Court number 8 by which the dismissal is declared “illegal” of Civil Guard Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos from his post as head of the Madrid Command, have advanced to elDiario.es legal sources. The judicial appointment comes with the last disapproval of the National High Court to the Ministry of the Interior, still recent, for the return of Moroccan minors to their country of origin without meeting the guarantees required by law.
The dismissal of Pérez de los Cobos for not informing the Ministry of the progress in the judicial investigation of the 8-M case, together with the handling of the matter in the following days, represented the greatest serious crisis in the political career of the head of the portfolio, Fernando Grande-Marlaska. Subsequently, the minister has been involved in another controversy for endorsing the irruption of the Police, without a court order, in homes where the rules imposed by the Executive to deal with the pandemic were not respected.
Despite this, the government crisis of last July did not affect Grande-Marlaska, whom Pedro Sánchez decided to keep in the post of Minister of the Interior even knowing that the case of the removal of Pérez de los Cobos is missing a chapter final: the ruling of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National High Court.
The deliberation of the Interior appeal, set for September 14 at 10:30 a.m., does not imply that the decision of the Fifth Section, in charge of the appeals filed against the Ministry of the Interior in the Chamber of Contentious-Administrative. Legal sources suggest that the meaning of the sentence will not be known until at least a week later.
Grande-Marlaska has become a recurring target of the opposition, which began to call for his dismissal after the dismissal of Pérez de los Cobos and has insisted on it due to the other two aforementioned controversies. A ruling against the interests of the Department of the Interior would rekindle the pressure for the removal of Grande-Marlaska, the minister who has been absorbing criticism of the Government for the most controversial decisions that the progressive Executive takes on rights and freedoms.
The management of the crisis of minors in Ceuta has once again revealed the suspicion that Sánchez’s own government partner, Unidas Podemos, has always maintained towards Marlaska. Last August, the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 sent a letter to the Interior warning that “all responsibility” for the actions of the State Security Forces and Bodies and the Government Delegation in Ceuta during the repatriation of the Moroccan minors was “solely and exclusively” from that Ministry.
The letter from the department directed by Ione Belarra, Podemos general secretary, was sent the same day that the return to Morocco of dozens of children arrived in the migration crisis in May began, a process in which the Law on Immigration that requires individualized reports of each minor. The Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National High Court rejected the appeal of a humanitarian organization to suspend the repatriations of minors in a car in which it warned the Interior that these should be carried out through the mechanisms “provided and regulated in detail in the Spanish legislation “.
Also the Prosecutor’s Office, which has demanded the stoppage of returns agreed by a Ceuta court, has maintained that the operation to repatriate minors failed to comply with the requirements demanded by law.
The endorsement of the president
To the annoyance of prominent PSOE leaders, Pedro Sánchez trusted Fernando Grande-Marlaska for the Interior portfolio in 2018, when Grande-Marlaska was a member of the sector of members of the General Council of the Judiciary appointed at the proposal of the PP. For their part, the members of Sánchez’s inauguration, mainly Basque and Catalan nationalists, openly criticize the Minister of the Interior, who they reproach his role in the National High Court for decisions such as his refusal to investigate complaints of torture in causes for the ETA terrorism.
In the case of Pérez de los Cobos, it was PP and Vox who starred in the criticism of Marlaska for his management, which included three different versions of the reason for the dismissal in a week. Until the proposal of the director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, for the dismissal of Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, which specified as a reason “the loss of confidence of the General Directorate and the Directorate Team of the Ministry of the Interior not to report the development of investigations and actions of the Civil Guard, in the operational framework and of the Civil Guard, and of the Judicial Police, for the purpose of knowledge “.
The statement alluded to a controversial report by the Judicial Police Unit of the Civil Guard within the investigation by a Madrid judge of the then Government delegate, José Manuel Franco, for his alleged responsibility in the expansion of COVID by having allowed the feminist demonstration of 8-M. Pérez de los Cobos appealed the dismissal and the Central Court number 8 of the Contentious-Administrative of the National High Court ruled that the “motivation” that led to his dismissal was “illegal” because Pérez de los Cobos fulfilled his obligation by not reporting such inquiries, due to the duty of reserve imposed by the magistrate in the case. The Ministry of the Interior appealed to the Chamber, through the State Bar, alleging that there can be no “judicial control” over “a position of trust.”