lunes, 6 de noviembre de 2017

To Guy Verhofstadt

I have read with great interest your statement of 5 November regarding the situation in Catalonia. I agree with the first paragraph of that statement, but I have some doubts about the other three paragraphs. I would like to express these doubts.

First of all, you ask about the proportionality of the imprisonment of some Catalan nationalist leaders last week. I am not sure if you are questioning the Spanish regulation about interim measures in criminal matters (arts. 502-519 of the “Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal” –Criminal Procedure Act-) or the application of these rules in the “Catalan case”. Do you think that the Spanish regulation does not comply with international standards? I think that this issue must be clearly answered.
Maybe you are not implying that, but just that this regulation was not properly applied in this specific case, and here I have another doubt: Do you have any legal arguments about this supposedly wrong application of the Spanish regulation on provisional imprisonment or are you suggesting that the judge should have made a “political” application of the law in this case? I think that this question also needs to be answered.
In Spain, as in all the countries in the European Union, only the law bound judges and it is not fair to pretend that they should adopt political decisions. Even more, trying to impose a judge a political decision is against the rule of law and basic democratic principles. So, in my opinion if you do not have legal arguments in relation to a judge decision your opinion should end at the point where you should show respect to the courts.
Following with your statement, you show some concern about the fact that some candidates for the regional elections of 21 December could be in prison. I think that there is some misunderstanding about that.
At this moment there are no candidates nominated for this regional election. Political parties and coalitions will decide their candidates in the coming weeks. In Spain, to be in prison does not prevent a person from being a candidate. I think that it is a good measure and according to our Constitution is not possible another solution because only a final decision of the courts can deprive one citizen of his or her right to be elected. So, provisional imprisonment is not a limit to run for an election.
But, of course, to take part in the election does not change the judge decision about the provisional imprisonment. I think that we can agree on that if being a candidate could change a judge decision about the criminal proceeding that will mean an inadmissible interference of politics with justice. Are you suggesting that there should be a rule that establishes that candidates should be released from prison?
By the way, in your statement you express your hope that the Supreme Court (I assume that the Spanish Supreme Court) could undo some of the provisional measures. I have two points about that. First: the Supreme Court is not going –in principle- to decide about those provisional measures. The “Audiencia Nacional” will review the decision. Second: Do you have any legal arguments in relation to that or –again- are you demanding a political decision from the courts?

Finally. As you probably know regional elections will take place in Catalonia on December 21st and will be of great importance. Nationalists are trying to delegitimise those elections and your statement helps them. If the candidates to the elections are in prison or not is irrelevant to the legitimacy of the elections, but, if you are worried about the electoral process in Catalonia you should pay attention to other issues, for example, the lack of neutrality of many municipalities and of the regional public media services.

1 comentario:

muriago dijo...

Impecable su respuesta. Me dan ganas de copiarla tal cual y enviársela a todos los johnes carlin y demás condescendientes, cuando no supremacistas especímenes que en la escena internacional se están permitiendo tan indocumentadas como irrespetuosas opiniones sobre lo que está ocurriendo en España, en relación con la sublevación del separatismo catalán. Pero da una pereza terrible. Le animo a que continúe con estas extraordinarias e imprescindibles reflexiones que usted nos ofrece en su blog.