As was expected, Oriol Junqueras has been unsuccessful in appealing the precautionary imprisonment measure imposed on him, initially by the Spanish National Court and subsequently by the Spanish Supreme Court. In their 27-page ruling, the three magistrates were unanimous in their decision and cited a risk of “re-offending” as the foundation for keeping the elected politician in jail before trial.
In their interpretation of the magistrates’ ruling, Catalan News concluded:
Junqueras however, according to the Supreme Court interlocutory sentence, did not situate himself in this theoretical situation but instead went much further, participating as vice president of the Catalan government in a plan to unilaterally declare independence against the resolutions of the Constitutional Court.
The resolution analyzes if Junqueras’ act could fit with the crimes of rebellion, sedition, and misuse of funds, and it concludes that yes. The court also notes that it does not see the deposed minister as having personally participated in concrete acts of violence nor that he gave direct orders for them, but that “through the public defense of unilateral independence and beyond any consideration and respect for the law in force in the State of which Catalonia is part,” urged citizens to disobey the Constitutional Court and mobilize themselves, making it predictable for there to be violent confrontations.
Once again those sitting in judgement in the Spanish Supreme Court are at great pains to characterise the pro-independence movement in Catalonia in violent terms, an assertion that will be required later to make the charges of sedition and rebellion stick. To those of us watching from beyond the Spanish borders, this is a bizarre leap of fiction, a fantasy from some parallel universe. We have witnessed the Guardia Civil as the only perpetrators of violence on 1 October 2017 and their state-condoned assault on voters that day is now repeatedly twisted by the Spanish judiciary, so that the blame for the violence is pinned on those peacefully executing the Catalan electorate’s mandate in the form of a referendum.
Indeed many Catalan citizens including teachers are facing ridiculous charges of “hate crimes” just for speaking publicly about the police violence on 1 October 2017 or referring to it on social media. We must remain vigilant to this type of judicial assault on human rights and democracy as it looks set to continue and even increase, despite the result of the recent 21-D election.