Supreme Court initiates 'Tsunami case' against Carles Puigdemont and Ruben Wagensberg | Spain

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the aspect of the case Democratic Tsunami Case open against former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and Ruben Wagensberg (ERC). Supreme Court instructor Judge Susana Polo has agreed to open proceedings against both pro-independence politicians, the current elected deputies of parliament, after National Court instructor Judge Manuel García-Castellón decided on Monday the same applies to the other suspects in these investigations, which were opened in 2019 for terrorist offences.

This movement of Susana Polo takes place just a few hours after the Criminal Chamber of the National Court issued the resolution that set everything in motion. On Monday afternoon, this court issued an order concluding that Judge García-Castellón extended the investigation into Tsunami case No more time in July 2021 and therefore none of the findings gathered since then are valid. The Chamber also ordered him to re-evaluate the summary and, based on what he had before the summer of three years ago, decide whether there was enough evidence to prosecute someone. Or, in his case, to initiate proceedings against the suspects. At night, Judge García-Castellón chose the second option and dismissed the case against the ten people he had accused, including Marta Rovira, general secretary of Esquerra Republicana.

García-Castellón's decision had no consequences for Carles Puigdemont and Ruben Wagensberg, as the Supreme Court had taken on the role of judge. Tsunami case about them. However, the National Court's resolution led to the approval of a similar measure against both pro-independence politicians, since the Supreme Court case has its origins in that of García-Castellón. In fact, this magistrate sent in november 2023 the request to the Supreme Court to take charge of that part of the investigation, based in particular on several reports from the Guardia Civil drawn up that same year (that is, issued in the period now invalidated).

The Supreme Court already expected García-Castellón to take action on Monday afternoon following the resolution of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court, which annulled the last three years of its investigations. According to sources from the Supreme Court, if the case against Puigdemont and Wagensberg was to continue, this judge should have reworked the request for indictment that he had sent to the Supreme Court, presenting the valid evidence that he has against the suspect (that is, only those previously collected on July 29, 2021). Instead, García-Castellón agreed to file the case for his ten defendants and send his decision to the Supreme Court, in which he concluded that the case had been fatally wounded.

This Tuesday, Susana Polo, after receiving García-Castellón’s resolution, followed the same line. The investigating judge states that the request for attribution sent to the Supreme Court was made within the time limit that has since become invalid. And he emphasizes that before July 29, 2021, “no investigation was carried out into the determining cause of the participation of the investigated persons in the events of which they are accused.” “This is clear from the order for submission issued by the instructor of the Central Court [de la Audiencia Nacional]in which it is clear that no statement has been agreed or taken from any of those investigated – nor has it been taken from the persons certified in this case – which means that the proceedings cannot continue,” the judge added.

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The National Court opened the case Tsunami case for terrorist crimes to investigate the protests and riots registered in Catalonia following the verdict of the processes in October 2019. The investigations, which have been kept secret for years, have dominated political and legal news in recent months. Especially since November 2023, when García-Castellón decided to call the suspects to testify: among them Puigdemont and Rovira. This initiative took place in the middle of amnesty negotiations. And the government of Pedro Sánchez (PSOE), which promoted this law after the secessionist parties made it a condition for the inauguration of the socialist leader, took this investigation into account when developing the new law, with the aim of including the 12 defendants among the beneficiaries. Although for the time being the courts had not decided whether they should be applied them.

After learning of the Supreme Court’s decision, Laura Borràs, president of the Junts, celebrated this Tuesday’s resolution: “Yesterday, García-Castellón. Today, Polo. How good it is that at least the formal errors help the underlying defect that represents a total phantom cause. They should archive all the prosecutions,” he tweeted.

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