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Llarena's failed strategy

Germany's decision to deliver Puigdemont alone by embezzlement translates the open cause into the supreme and puts the focus on doubts about the crime of rebellion

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Llarena's failed strategy

When Carles Puigdemont was arrested on 25 March at a gas station in state of Schleswig Holstein, north of Germany, Spanish government disactivated European escape from expresident. Puigdemont and four or members of his Government had chosen Belgium as a destination in late October when y found that prosecution was going to sue for rebellion against leaders of procés. It wasn't a casual choice. His lawyers knew that Belgian justice was going to be reluctant to give m up for rebellion, a crime that does not have an exact equivalent in that country. So when former president was arrested in Germany when he tried to return to Belgium after a trip to Finland, sources of state security advertised that y had followed Puigdemont on that journey and had decided to stop him in German country. The close cooperation between Spain and Germany and existence of a crime similar to that of rebellion in its Penal Code, augured a complicated future for Catalan former president.

More information
  • Llarena refuses delivery of Puigdemont by embezzlement and removes Euroorden against all fled
  • Independence celebrates withdrawal of European arrest warrants

Less than four months later, German justice has shattered open cause in Supreme Court against Inpendentistas leaders. The decision of Schleswig Holstein court to give Puigdemont only for crime of embezzlement, has given full in what constitutes marrow of instruction of Llarena, but which from outset became also its weakest point: indictment for Rebellion, a crime punishable with up to 30 years in prison and which was applied to lieutenant colonel of Guardia Civil Antonio Tejero and to rest of military cupola who accompanied him 23-F.

The initiative to attribute this crime to independence leaders was not supreme or national hearing (where case was instructed for a month against members of government), but attorney General of State, n directed by José Manuel Maza. The prosecutor (deceased in November) was one who filed on October 30 complaint for rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against Puigdemont, 13 excouncillors and five members of Board of Parliament for encouraging a "movement of active insurrection among population" For secession of Catalonia.

The invocation of this crime was questioned from outset by sectors of judiciary, for whom violent uprising that identifies this criminal type must be understood in context of an armed uprising and does not fit into what happened in Catalonia. But Llarena endorsed accusation of rebellion and, car by car, has been coupling facts to definition of rebellion to build story with which he indicted 25 secessionist leaders. The history of six years ( instructor situates beginning of procés on December 19, 2012, with signing of agreement between Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras who led first to presidency of Generalitat) of riding without brakes towards rupture with state. In between, sentences of constitutional were repeatedly disobeyed, laws were violated, money was embezzled to create structures of future republic, an illegal referendum was organized, and civil society was mobilized knowing that y could Triggering acts of violence.

The truth is that rebellion allowed to apply exceptional measures that, premeditated or not, have been decisive to neutralize secessionist leaders who starred Pulse of state: among m, that cause was instructed in Madrid because facts They transcend community of Catalonia (although this decision is questioned by some legal voices); and open door to preventive imprisonment given severity of penalties for this crime (between 15 and 30 years). These two characteristics are shared by sedition, penal type that was attributed at beginning to leaders of ANC and Òmnium (Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart) and by which former chief of Mossos Josep Lluís was indicted.

But rebellion incorporates two peculiarities that have been decisive in political and legal becoming of recent months. The first, it enabled in medium term to suspend as deputies to secessionist dome, a measure that was consumed on June 27. And second, key in process, allowed to centralize cause in supreme (where at first only five members of Bureau were investigated for being graduated).

The rebellion, by definition, is of collective execution: a group that rises to achieve an end, in this case independence. According to High Court account, Procés is based on a concert between political parties and secessionist entities that distributed papers in a plan very prepared to declare independence of Catalonia outside law. For purposes of research: facts committed by each protagonist cannot desgajarse one anor, for which y must be instructed toger. And as among accused had graduated those who could only investigate supreme, High Court centralizes cause.

But when he made this decision, supreme did not sensed to what extent control of procedure had come down with leaks of Puigdemont and rest of fled. The case no longer depended only on Llarena and his roommates who have reviewed instructor's decisions when y have questioned defenses. The judicial future and even politician of chief of rebels and coherence of most important cause educated in High Court in more than 35 years was in hands of courts of or countries (first only Belgium, and n also of Germany , Switzerland and Scotland) willing to examine performance of Spanish judge assuming that role of second instance that summary had dodged in Spain by concentrating on supreme, whose decisions do not admit appeal.

After nine months of exchange of judicial strategy between Llarena and fled, judge has assumed his defeat (at least temporary). Germany's refusal to surrender Puigdemont for rebellion and fear of similar decisions in or countries has led instructor to give up judging former president and rest of fugitives for now. He did not consult with prosecution, but sources of Public Ministry support him. Germany's performance, y say, was unassumable and rejecting delivery is a way of not giving "legal recognition" to that resolution. It has liked less withdrawal of euroórdenes against all fled, a measure that some interpret as form chosen by Llarena to say that it has ceased to rely on system of judicial cooperation between States of EU. A system that, in words of a prosecutor, "has jumped through air" last week.

Nine months of changes

Since Supreme Court opened case against Procés on 30 October, legal and political developments have occurred and have left changes that no one anticipated and which have influenced procedure.

José Manuel Maza, attorney general who filed complaint and ordered imprisonment of Vice President Oriol Junqueras and seven or excouncilers, died just 20 days later during a trip to Argentina. Before his replacement, Julián Sánchez Melgar, took possession, Pablo Llarena released six senior advisors on 4 December. There were 17 days left for Catalan elections of 21-D and released were turned into campaign with a speech modulated not to incur a crime.

The result of se elections again gave majority to independence, which tried to replace Puigdemont in presidency. The constitutional and supreme stopped this attempt and next two, which were to situate front of Generalitat to ex-leader of ANC Jordi Sànchez (in prison since October) and ex-councillor Jordi Turull, one of those released in December. Llarena sent him to prison again hours before he predictably fruited his investiture.

After change in Generalitat with election of "La", on June 1 came most unexpected relief: The departure of Mariano Rajoy de la Moncloa. The arrival of Pedro Sanchez, and with him María José Segarra, third attorney general since opening of cause, has raised expectations about how it can influence judicial scenario. "Whoever thinks it's going to change everything doesn't know how this works," a prosecutor says. However, Public Prosecutor's Office does not rule out variations in accusations attributed to defendants when in September accusations with which y will go to trial are to be specified.

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