The Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Accounts assures that the parliamentary immunity of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont does not exempt him from the bail claimed by the supervisory body for accounting responsibility for the alleged irregular use of funds from the Generalitat de Catalunya for the Catalan delegations in the foreigner and the Council of Public Diplomacy of Catalonia (Diplocat).
X-ray of the Court of Accounts: a politicized entity, with a conservative majority and with cases of plugging
In a battery of writings, to which Europa Press has had access, the chief prosecutor Miguel Ángel Torres dismisses the appeal presented last July by the independence leader, as well as the allegations of the 34 former high-ranking officials sentenced to pay a total of 5.4 million for allegedly diverting funds to promote independence abroad.
“It should be noted that, in relation to the protection recognized in Protocol No. 7 on privileges and immunities in the European Union, it should be noted that it does not apply to a procedure of an administrative nature, aimed at determining the requirement of accounting responsibilities” , precise.
In this sense, in addition, the prosecutor insists that the present procedure “does not limit, in any way, the appellant’s right to freedom of movement, nor does it have a criminal or sanctioning nature.”
Puigdemont had requested that the required bond be annulled, considering that “he has recognized immunity as a MEP” that “reaches any instance and jurisdiction, including the Court of Auditors.”
In his appeal, the former president also criticized the actions of the supervisory body and assured that the statement made by the investigating delegate during the liquidation act that his immunity extends only to criminal proceedings is “contrary to law.”
The prosecutor supports the action of the investigating delegate of the Court of Auditors and in a second text, in addition, rejects the complaint of the MEP about the decision not to extend the deadline set for the presentation of the bond.
The State Attorney asks to reject the allegations of the former high-ranking officials and officials
The State Attorney has also presented a battery of writings in which it rejects the different allegations made by political positions and officials of the Generalitat between 2011 and 2017.
Specifically, in the brief that responds to the appeal presented by Puigdemont, the State’s lawyer must take into account that in the previous actions in which the appealed acts have been issued, the principles of the right to effective judicial protection cannot be applied. because, as justified in the provisional liquidation, “the previous actions do not have a jurisdictional nature.”
Likewise, he sees clear, like the Prosecutor’s Office, that his status as an MEP “has no impact on the present procedure and there is no immunity in relation to the requirement of accounting responsibilities in general and in particular in this preliminary investigative phase.”
Rejection of the resources of Mas, Junquera and Romeva
The Public Ministry also aligns itself with the State’s lawyer to reject the allegations of the former Catalan president Artur Mas, who filed an appeal requesting to suspend the deadline for paying the bail, considering that three hours for the reading of the liquidation act was “insufficient” to exercise his right to defense and that until that day he had not been notified of a single of the procedures carried out in the procedure.
The Prosecutor’s Office explains that, as the Chamber of Justice of the Court of Auditors has previously established, “nothing can be notified to any possible person responsible” until the moment of summoning provisional liquidation because until then there is no identified presumed accountable person responsible. “There has been neither defenselessness, nor violation of the principle of equality of arms,” he adds.
Among the battery of documents presented, the Prosecutor’s Office also rejects the objections of the former vice president of the Generalitat de Catalunya Oriol Junqueras and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government Raül Romeva.
Both argued that their right to defense was not respected in the processing of the preliminary proceedings in the supervisory body and that their fundamental rights were violated.
Regarding the raising of the question of unconstitutionality, the prosecutor assures that “it is without foundation.” Regarding the invocation of the principle of presumption of innocence “it is inadmissible in the present jurisdiction, according to constant and reiterated jurisprudence”. Both arguments were also raised by other ex-officers.
At this point, the State’s lawyer agrees with the prosecutor that there cannot be helplessness given the moment the process is taking place.
According to the Law on the Operation of the Court of Accounts, once the guarantees have been paid and the resources have been resolved, the piece and other actions will be transferred to the representative of the affected public sector entity -in this case the Generalitat- and the others accusations so that within the common period of 20 days they file a lawsuit.