The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court has agreed this Monday confirm the sentence of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia that last December sentenced to a year and a half of disqualification for the exercise of elective public positions and for the performance of government functions, as well as to pay a fine of 30,000 euros to the still president of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, who will have to leave office.
In a failure signed unanimously, The court rejects Torra’s appeal for cassation and concludes that disobeyed in a “stubborn and obstinate” way the Central Electoral Board, when, in full campaign for the April generals, unsuccessfully demanded that remove from the facades of public buildings the banners calling for the freedom of the procés prisoners.
In the ruling that is now confirmed, the TSJC stated the “Recalcitrant and repeated disobedient attitude” de Torra against the mandates of the JEC. During the hearing held on September 17, the defense alleged lack of impartiality both of that Chamber and of the members of the Electoral Board who had issued the orders and imposed administrative sanctions, who also said that they had no competence to do so.
It also considered that the freedom of expression, in this case, of the institutions was being violated and that since the express request for freedom for the “procés” prisoners was part of their daily political discourse, it should be shielded by their immunity parliamentary.
The sentence, of which Juan Ramón Berdugo has been rapporteur and whose fund is shared by magistrates Andrés Martínez Arrieta, Antonio del Moral, Susana Polo and Vicente Magro, takes away his reason and concludes that the decision of the Catalan court was adjusted to law because the scope of the resource «is not the display of certain symbols or banners of a certain political option, but its use in electoral periods disobeying the provisions by the Central Electoral Board ».
Remember that this body “in the exercise of its functions guarantees the transparency and objectivity of electoral processes” and it was in this context that it “prohibited its use” by the “Infringement of the principle of neutrality to which administrations in general must abide”. In other words, Torra’s decision to move forward “contravened express orders” from the JEC, which “is the competent body.”
“The purpose of the process is not to analyze the appellant’s conviction from the perspective of freedom of expression, since as a citizen he is free to carry out demonstrations or acts that reflect his political identity. The object is disobedience of repeated orders of a constitutional body whose function is to guarantee the transparency and cleanliness of the electoral processes that requires the neutrality of the powers and public administrations, “the magistrates decide.
In this sense, it states that “the Administration’s demand for neutrality becomes more acute during electoral periods”, because according to its own doctrine, it is imperative to guarantee “free suffrage”, that is, “an electoral system that guarantees a institutional framework of neutrality in which the citizen can with absolute freedom, without interference from any public power, decide the terms and scope of his political participation.
They insist that their rights have not been violated because, in addition, Torra himself, “at all times, before, during and after the oral trial, has not denied the display of banners and other symbols in public buildings dependents of the Generalitat, especially on the facade of the Palau, and their refusal to comply with the orders of the Central Electoral Board “, even though the mandate that both contained” perfectly understandable both in substance and in terms of time. ”
Moreover, it highlights that he had a conscious will and a mental disposition unequivocal to contravene that order and appreciates fraud in his «forceful, repeated, stubborn and stubborn resistance of the accused to comply with a mandate invested with authority and issued in accordance with the law. He insists on this thesis given the legal training of the president of the Generalitat and that he had reports from the legal services of the body that warned him of the implications of disobeying the Electoral Board, that is, “he had enough elements” to know your obligation.
Regarding the sentence imposed, the Chamber endorses the special disqualification for the exercise of elective positions because Torra has been sentenced in the context of his condition of public authority and the sentence “must cover any area in which the crime is committed.”
«It would constitute a mockery of the respect that the aforementioned citizens owe to the proper functioning of the Public Powers if the disqualification penalty was limited to the specific position in which the crime was committed, and allowed the convicted person to continue committing this class of crimes in another similar position , the direct or indirect result of political elections, by the mere fact of moving from a position of political representation to a similar one in the autonomous government itself, or of the Nation, in the Autonomous Parliament, of the State or of the European Union, or at the municipal level ”, he concludes.
Just a couple of hours after the notification of the sentence, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia has ordered its execution with a resolution according to which “it will proceed to make effective, from today, the disqualification from the government post that currently plays “.