The president of the TSJ of Castilla y León, José Luis Concepción, has compared the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) with the Nazi party and says that “it also came to power through the ballot box”. In an interview granted to Diario de Burgos, Concepción recalled how last year he assured that democracy was being “in solfa” because the Communist Party is integrated into the Government. When the journalist told him that the PCE is a “legal” political party that appears normally in the elections, Concepción pointed out: “The National Socialist Party also came to power through the ballot box in Germany in 1933 and we must not remember the consequences that his victory brought.
It is not the first time that José Luis Concepción ‘jumps’ into the media for statements of this type. In February 2021 he assured in a Burgos television program ‘La 8’: “The democracy of a country has been called into question since the Communist Party is part of the Government.” This caused Concepción Sáez, member of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) at the proposal of Izquierda Unida, to request “government and disciplinary measures” against Concepción, although finally the CGPJ considered that his statements were protected by freedom of expression.
In the interview, he also defended the espionage of the independentists involved in the process. Concepción sees “clear” that the State “investigates legitimately”, despite the lack of control over espionage activities. “The intelligence services do very well in adopting precautions, especially considering that in this case the actions of the intelligence services are endorsed by a magistrate of the Supreme Court, who is the one who guarantees that no one’s fundamental rights are violated” , has defended the highest judicial authority in Castilla y León, which has been in office since 2005.
Regarding the blockade of the General Council of the Judiciary for almost four years, Concepción has accused the Government of having “gagged and prevented it from carrying out one of its primary functions, the appointment of senior judicial positions.” He also points out that the judiciary is being used as an “element of political struggle”, which “perverts the constitutional system”.
The renewal of its twenty members has to be agreed by a reinforced majority of three-fifths of the members of the Cortes Generales and the PP refuses to negotiate because it would lose the conservative majority in the CGPJ. Since Pedro Sánchez was elected President of the Government, the PP has demanded that the PSOE agree to change the election system before electing the new members.
“It is unpresentable that the political forces are not capable of agreeing to renew a body on whose operation the judicial organization in Spain depends. The paralysis is causing damage that may be irreparable or very difficult to fix”, said Concepción, who has also given her opinion on the possibility of moving the Supreme Court out of Madrid: it causes “hilarity”.
Other controversial statements by Concepción
In recent years, Concepción has made several claims that have caused a stir. In the first wave of the pandemic, the president of the TSJ accused the Spanish Government of suspending fundamental rights: “The Government is using this crisis for other matters of interest to it,” he assured at the time. Those statements earned him the reproach of its president Carlos Lesmes, who recalled that the judges should have “prudence, moderation and institutional responsibility” to avoid “the questioning of independence and impartiality”. Also during the pandemic, Concepción accused the Executive of “hiding” the death toll.
Asked about this issue in the Diario de Burgos interview, he replies: “Time comes to prove me right and the Constitutional Court has said what I pointed out a year and a half ago.” The Constitutional Court concluded that the figure of the state of alarm was not applied correctly and that the executive should have opted for the declaration of the state of exception.
In October 2019, when the exhumation of Francisco Franco from the Valle de los Caídos took place, the president of the TSJ defended that the exhumation turned the “concord” of 1978 into a “grudge”. In an interview with Norte de Castilla, Concepción defined the Law of Historical Memory as “perverse” and argued that it was trying to make the “victor” of the Civil War whoever lost the 1939 contest.