The BOE publishes the amnesty law, which is now in effect | Spain

The amnesty law for suspects processes The Catalan independence movement is already in force. The Official Gazette (BOE) published on Tuesday the so-called organic law of amnesty for institutional, political and social normalization in Catalonia, which was approved by Congress on May 30 with 177 votes in favor – one deputy of Podemos – of the left and nationalism, and 172 against the PP, Vox, Canary Coalition and UPN. From now on, it is the judges who deal with cases that may be affected by the pardon measure, who will have to investigate (ex officio or at the request of one of the parties) whether the rule applies to that case. This is what the text of the law stipulates: “It is up to the legislature to establish the criteria to benefit from the amnesty and it is up to the judiciary to identify the specific people who fall within the scope established by the legislature has been established. .”

The judges have a period of two months to apply the rule, but the text published in the BOE establishes a number of measures that must be taken “immediately”. This includes the lifting of search and arrest warrants and prison sentences, national, European and international arrest warrants and any precautionary measures taken against the potential beneficiaries of the amnesty. This prediction has direct consequences for the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont, who is under a national arrest warrant preventing his return to Spain since he fled to Belgium in November 2017 to avoid a trial. This case is in the hands of the Supreme Court, which will now have to decide whether the amnesty should be applied to Puigdemont, who is being prosecuted for serious embezzlement and disobedience in the case of processes.

Although the rule seeks the immediate lifting of the arrest warrant, the Supreme Court understands that in order to issue that resolution, it must have previously decided whether the Junts leader can benefit from the law or not. Sources from the Criminal Chamber indicate that they will ask the Public Prosecution Service and the rest of the parties in writing about this in the coming hours (Vox, the Public Prosecution Service and the defense of the former president). It is expected that the court will give the parties a period of ten working days to make a ruling and will then take time to reach a solution. There are three scenarios: grant him amnesty directly; submit a question to the European legal system or the Constitutional Court so that they can clarify your doubts; or reject outright the application of the pardon measure to the former Catalan president.

The first option is ruled out because several court sources have agreed in recent weeks that they at least harbor doubts about the applicability of the amnesty in European and constitutional law. A plausible option is therefore for the Supreme Court to go to court. Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). If he decides to take this step, the sources consulted indicate that sooner the arrest warrant against Puigdemont will be lifted, which would allow the former president of the Generalitat to return to Spain without the risk of arrest, at least until the European justice responds. .

The worst scenario for the leader of the Junts would be the third: that the Supreme Court considers that the serious embezzlement attributed to him cannot under any circumstances be granted amnesty. The law that has entered into force stipulates that the embezzlement of public funds falls under the umbrella of the pardon measure if it was intended to finance actions related to the processes and “as long as there has been no purpose of enrichment”, understood as “personal advantage of a patrimonial nature”. Court sources warn that magistrates should examine whether this provision is in line with the case law of the Supreme Court, which points out that enrichment does not only occur when there is personal gain, but also when other types of benefits are generated. The prosecutors who participated in the trial against processes They rely on this case law to reject applying the amnesty in this case to the crime of embezzlement, but that is not the official position of the Public Prosecution Service at this time.

The Supreme Court's steps will not only have an impact on Puigdemont and the rest of the defendants who fled Spanish justice and to whom the court will have to refrain from assessing whether the law applies, but also on the independence leaders who have been convicted of pretext in the case of processes and that although they have been pardoned from prison, the disqualification is still pending, as is former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras.

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The Supreme Court must also decide how the amnesty affects Puigdemont in the Democratic Tsunami case, where he is being investigated for a terrorist crime, for which the pardon measure also takes into account exceptions in its application. The court has not yet issued a measure against the former Catalan president in this case, although it has summoned him to testify via video conference between June 17 and 21. The instructor, Susana Polo, will have to communicate whether she is maintaining appearances before that date.

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