Declaration before the judge prior to the dialogue table. This is how Wednesday began for the Minister of Business, Roger Torrent. The former president of the Parliament, accused of allowing a vote to reprove the monarchy against the advice of the Constitutional Court, has alleged that he authorized the vote so as not to restrict the “free debate” of the Chamber.
Torrent has appeared as investigated for disobedience before the magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) Maria Eugènia Alegret. It was a brief statement in which he only answered the questions of his lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde. The same strategy has been followed by the former secretary of the Board, Republican Adriana Delgado, defended by Olga Arderiu. In the afternoon it will be the turn of the other two investigated, the former vice president of the Parliament Josep Costa (Junts) and the former secretaries Eusebi Campdepadrós (Junts).
The case of Torrent is similar to the first causes of the process that affected his predecessor, Carme Forcadell. Only one crime of disobedience is being investigated, punishable by disqualification but not jail, for allowing parliamentary debates despite the notices of the Constitutional Court.
The conflict is between the right to be able to debate all matters and to parliamentary inviolability (not to be criminally prosecuted for the opinions and votes expressed in a parliament) alleged by the deputies and the preponderance of the warnings of the Constitutional Court defended by the Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Torrent and his independentist colleagues in the Table processed two resolutions in the last legislature in favor of exercising the right to self-determination and to reprove the monarchy despite the warnings of its illegality by the Secretary General of the Parliament and knowingly that the Constitutional Court had prohibited it.
As explained by legal sources, Torrent and Delgado have assured the judge that the warnings of the Parliamentary lawyers were not as “clear” as the Prosecutor’s Office claims, and that their analysis of the Constitutional resolution did not necessarily imply the paralysis of the debates parliamentarians. Moreover, his interpretation was that the Constitutional warning could be considered “disproportionate.”
Beyond the debate between the lawyers (who are expected to appear as witnesses in the coming weeks), Torrent and Delgado have claimed the “right to speak about everything” in the Chamber and have lamented that their judicial case may have a “discouraging effect” on the parliamentary debate.