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13 de juny 2019

Quim Forn's Final Plea (12/6/2019)

Here is an English translation (by MS) of Quim Forn's final plea to the Supreme Court. He was Catalonia's Interior Minister for under four months in 2017.
Click here if need be to access the whole text.

Supreme Court. 12 June 2019

My first words are to endorse everything my counsel has said.

I am using this intervention to thank my lawyers, Xavier Melero and Judit Gené, and the rest of the defence team for the work they have done during these four intense months of the trial.

I will go on to make some considerations in this plea before the Court:

1.- I have been in politics since the age of 17, motivated by the desire to change things, by an ethical and social commitment and by a desire to improve the country and society in which I live.

I have taken part in countless cultural, civic and social initiatives driven by the Catalan associative world.

I have always based this personal commitment on democratic values and respect for the person, as the central axis of all action.

This introduction may surprise you, but I want to make clear the principles that have always inspired my political activity and from which I have never deviated.

2.- I categorically deny that my action as a member of the Catalan government was aimed at liquidating the Spanish Constitution and attacking the constitutional order, using violence.

3.- If today we are before this court, it is due to a failure of politics and as a punishment for the political challenge that the organization of the referendum on October 1 amounted to. This referendum had the endorsement of a very considerable majority of the Parliament of Catalonia and likewise the support of a large majority of Catalan society.

In the government, we always believed that there was another way to interpret the law, that it is not fossilized, and that a more flexible interpretation would allow us to reach an accord that would lead to an agreed solution for our demands.

This will to reach agreement was manifested repeatedly, before and after the holding of the referendum.

4.- On October 1 voting took place in about two thousand polling stations. During the trial, both the witnesses and the images we have visualized refer to fewer than twenty incidents in the whole of the territory of Catalonia. Wherever they came from we condemn such incidents, but that can in no way cloud the peaceful nature of the vote.

5.- The Mossos d'Esquadra police corps always complied with the orders of the prosecutor and with the court injunctions. They never received, either from me or from any member of the government, any instruction to stop fulfilling their obligations as court police.

My statements in favour of the holding of the referendum never interfered with the obligations of the police; they merely expressed my support for the government's political commitment.

6.- The Public Prosecutor's Office began its concluding report affirming that "political ideas are not pursued". Allow me to doubt this claim. You have tried to convince us that this is so but the truth of the facts belies it. In the order of February 2, 2018 the investigating judge justified my detention in prison, even despite having resigned by seat as an MP, due to the maintenance of my pro-sovereignty political ideas. In the resolution, the judge affirmed that this ideology is the expression of my legitimate ideological freedom but that because of the coexistence of my ideas "in a context in which there is no certainty that the intention to achieve independence has disappeared from Catalonia", I should remain in pretrial detention. Today I request freedom once again.

7.- I have given plenty of evidence throughout this trial of my willingness to collaborate. This has been my intention at all times and I refer you to my actions. On November 2, I went to testify before the National Court. At that time the content of the complaint filed by the Office of the Prosecutor was already in circulation. I returned deliberately from Brussels and went to testify. I received the summons on a public holiday, less than 24 hours before having to testify and barely having time to meet with my lawyer. I went to explain my actions, convinced (as I still am) that I have not committed any crime, and accepting, as I have always done, my responsibility for all my acts carried out in the exercise of the post of Interior Minister of the Generalitat de Catalunya. I may have made mistakes, but in no case have I behaved to put at risk the citizens’ safety.

8.- I still believe and fight for democracy, freedom and justice.

I continue to believe in, and defend, Catalonia's right to self-determination, dialogue and respect for plurality as the only way for resolving conflicts.

I abhor intolerance and any violent attitude or action.

After 19 months in prison, these ideals and my political principles remain firm.

9.- Today, I am more convinced than ever that only through dialogue shall we be able to resolve the political conflict that confronts us.

See video: https://estudiscatalans.blogspot.com/2019/06/darrerdiscurs.html

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