The former Minister of the Interior convicted by Puigdemont's bodyguard, the first to be granted amnesty in the trial

First amnesty of the trial. The Appellate Division of the Civil and Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJC) has decided to grant amnesty to former Minister of the Interior Miquel Buch and convicted police officer Lluís Escolà to four years in prison for embezzlement for providing an escort to former President Carles Puigdemont in Belgiumas well as a protester convicted of the 2019 trial verdict riots.

The appeals department of the Civil and Criminal Chamber of the Catalan TSJ met this Tuesday to deliberate on the amnesty of eight cases in the trial. These are eight convictions of a total of 18 people by different courts of the Barcelona Court, which have been appealed to the Appellate Division of the TSJC, the highest body that reviews sentences.

The TSJC Appeals Chamber, known for its guarantor view of the law, will be the first judicial body to apply the amnesty. The decision confirms what some courts had already expected during the negotiations on the standard: a division between judges who They will without a murmur grant amnesty to those convicted before the trial and others who will maneuver, even with political arguments, to try to avoid applying the rule.

The most high-profile cases of the trial are still awaiting the decision of the judges, especially of the Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena, who must decide whether to withdraw the arrest warrant against Puigdemont, as demanded by the Public Prosecutor's Office, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Prosecution. defense, in what the passport would mean so that the former president could return to Spain after seven years without the risk of being arrested.

In total, there were 18 potential candidates for amnesty pending the deliberations of the section chaired by Judge Àngels Vivas. The majority were young people with prison sentences of up to three years (which meant going to prison in the event of a final conviction) for disruptions during various demonstrations of the trial, but there were also former councilor Buch and the Mosso Escolà, convicted to four and a half years in prison for embezzling public funds with Puigdemont's escort in Waterloo. Both were at real risk of going to prison if they were not granted amnesty.

The court states in its ruling that the conduct of Buch, who appointed Escolà as an advisor to the department to conceal the fact that the sergeant had traveled to Waterloo to be Puigdemont's escort, falls perfectly within the amnesty law. In particular, in the article that exempts from criminal liability acts of “protection or security of those responsible” for the political process.

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