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6 de set. 2019

By Vicent Partal: That is why they wanted the trial to be held in Madrid

Today's editorial on why they wanted the trial to be held in Madrid, by Vicent Partal. May the judges prove him wrong! English translation: MS: I hope the author does not object.
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Original:"Per això el procés el volien jutjar a Madrid".
https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/per-aixo-proces-jutjar-madrid-editorial-vicent-partal/

That is why they wanted the trial to be held in Madrid

By: Vicent Partal
05.09.2019 21:50

Yesterday the provincial court of Barcelona decided to prosecute the eight Spanish police inspectors who were responsible for the violent actions against the population on October 1, 2017. The judge investigating the injuries of more than two hundred citizens in numerous polling stations had already summoned four heads of the operation, but now now decided that all of them should be summoned and questioned to determine who was responsible for that operation, who designed the police brutality that tried unsuccessfully to stop the referendum on self-determination. Right now, several Catalan courts are at different stages in their investigation of the actions of 77 police officers and civil guards who participated in the repression on that day. Evidently, outside the Principality [of Catalonia] this is not being investigated by any court.

We shall see what comes of it all in the end, especially when, if there is a judgment, it is appealed before higher courts. It is more than reasonable to think that if police officers are convicted there will be appeals and that in Madrid the superior authorities will quash the verdicts. But, whatever the case, the provincial court's decision again confirms that the courts do not see things the same way in Barcelona and in Madrid. And for that reason the State moved heaven and earth to prevent the ordinary, pre-established, competent courts from judging the deeds of which the [Catalan] government, the Speaker of the Parliament and the social leaders are accused.

So much has happended that it may even have been forgotten, but today is a good day to remember that the first legal battle was about the barbarity of the accusations and about exactly what court was to try them. And the defeat was there, at minute one. All the defence counsels complained that the higher bodies of the Spanish judicial system twisted the norms in the manner of expert contortionists to ensure that the defendants were tried in Madrid. And why did they do that? Well, because in Madrid you could hold a trial against the enemy, while in Barcelona that would have been much more difficult.

And again the evidence faces us. The same policemen and police officers who are being asked for explanations and clarifications before the Catalan courts went through the Supreme courtroom wrapped in cooton wool and treated with a delicacy and complicity unworthy of any court. Judge Marchena's decision to prevent the declarations - many of which were blatantly false - of the civil and police guards from being contrasted with videos was a monumental scandal and a serious attack on the rights of the defence. For it was for this, to be able to act in this way, that they wanted to take the trial to Madrid. Marchena has never wanted to analyze the facts because he could not care less about them. His mission is to condemn the Catalan leaders with the highest possible punishment and that is what he will do.

That is why we must insist that the trial of the independence process is one of the clearest cases of judicial warfare (lawfare) in the whole world, that is, the law and the courts are being used as a weapon of war and not as an instrument of justice. And it should also be remembered that in both warfare (the military war) and lawfare (the judicial war) there is an absolutely crucial element: geography. In an armed war, in a military conflict, defining the battlefield is the most determining decision. In a judicial war this is done by deciding the jurisdiction, who tries and who does not. And the evidence, yet more, is in yesterday's decision of the Barcelona provincial court.

Unfortunately, from the very first minute, it was clear to them in Madrid they this is a matter not of justice but of annihilating the enemy, while here the defendants or their counsels, or both, have preferred to think or believe that it was a matter of justice. This was a monumental mistake. An error that, unfortunately, we shall end up paying all very dearly.

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