The Supreme Court has for the first time rejected a complaint against the Prime Minister for pardon the nine condemned of the Catalan independence process. The judges of the criminal court have rejected the accusation of prevarication promoted by the Spanish Liberal Right party and the lawyer José Ignacio Sánchez Rubio: the court affirms that the right of grace “has been exercised by those who are competent, without its injustice or arbitrariness can be affirmed “and recalls that by contentious means” there is no jurisdictional control “of the reasons for its concession. Only their “consistency” can be analyzed.
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The complaint was presented by the lawyer representing the political party in the Supreme Court last June, just 24 hours after the Government announced the granting of pardons to the nine Catalan political leaders convicted of the procés. Vox, Partido Popular and Ciudadanos filed appeals by way of contentious-administrative and far-right, even announced on his Twitter account that he was already working on filing a complaint.
In this case, the Spanish Liberal Right accused the president and the then Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, of a crime of prevarication. The fourteen-page complaint denounced a “tortuous maneuver” to ensure the support of the pro-independence parties to the coalition government. “Indicially, at least, the pardons have been granted in a tortuous way, as a bargaining chip given to the Catalan independence groups in return for the support of those in the continuity of the defendant Mr. Sánchez, as well as the Government,” said the complaint.
Arguments that the Supreme Court, which ruled absolutely against the pardons, has flatly rejected. With Manuel Marchena in the room and Susana Polo’s presentation, the judges reproach that the complaint “does not offer the minimum analysis” that allows us to speak of prevarication. Explains the order to which elDiario.es has had access that “the right of grace provided by law has been exercised by the competent person, without its injustice or arbitrariness being affirmed.”
The Supreme Court inadmises the part of the complaint directed against Pedro Sánchez and declares itself incompetent to study the case of Juan Carlos Campo, who has lost his approval before the Supreme Court upon leaving the Government. The court warns, in any case, that his incorporation to the criminal chamber of the National Court will return this assessment. The arguments applied to Sánchez are also applicable to the then minister.
New complaint against the Government
The complaint was presented by Sánchez Rubio on June 23 on behalf of the Spanish Liberal Right. But this is not the first time that this lawyer, a former affiliate of the Popular Party and Vox, according to himself on his blog, tries to take Pedro Sánchez to the bench in the Supreme Court: he has already tried without success during the hardest phase of the pandemic. He headed a lawsuit in the same criminal chamber representing more than a hundred people who had lost a relative during the pandemic, accusing the Government of reckless homicide.
That complaint and several dozen others were filed by the Supreme Court in December of last year. A car of almost one hundred pages in which the speaker Manuel Marchena explained that possible negligence in the management of the pandemic should be investigated but that in no case could the President of the Government or his ministers be imputed for the fact of being in the highest ranks top of the public administration.
The complaint was promoted by Sánchez Rubio and other lawyers within the framework of a platform known as’The day after‘and that he offered to channel the criminal actions that those affected by the virus would like to bring against the executive. An advertisement that, as in the case of Abogados Cristianos, was denounced by the Free Association of Lawyers before the Bar Association of the capital.
This new failed lawsuit against pardons was also promoted through the website pardonsno.es, although at the moment it has not reported its inadmissibility and continues to allow membership as a lawyer or citizen through a form.
Review of pardons
The criminal chamber of the Supreme Court explains in this order that the control of pardons has very strict channels through contentious-administrative matters. They cite for this a sentence of their colleagues in the third court in which they rejected the appeal of a convicted person in the AFINSA case against the Government’s decision not to pardon him.
In that ruling, the judges made it clear that the Supreme Court cannot examine the reasons of “justice, equity and public utility” for which the Executive has granted the pardon. He said then that “the Government will be free to choose and value the very varied reasons of justice, equity and public utility” that, in each case and in view of its specific circumstances, lead it to grant a pardon – over which there is no control. court of any kind -, but which must be consistent with the facts that constitute its factual support, and this can be verified by the court in order to rule out any hint of arbitrariness.
The contentious-administrative chamber of the Supreme Court has pending to issue a sentence in the coming months on the nine pardons of the procés after the appeals presented, among others, by the opposition parties. Since its granting, they have rejected, for the moment, suspending in a precautionary or very precautionary manner the effectiveness of the grace measure and sending the pro-independence leaders back to jail.