TC suspends referendum resolution and could take further legal action against Forcadell

Article published by Catalan News Agency, 14th February 2017.

Barcelona (CNA).- The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has definitely suspended the governing party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left pro-independence CUP joint proposal to call a referendum in 2017. The resolution was already suspended by the magistrates but in a cautionary way, at the request of the Spanish Government. A decision which, according to Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté “won’t change the will to call a referendum this year”. Munté emphasised that the joint resolution “was discussed and voted amongst the Catalan MPs in accordance to the freedom of speech” and that these MPs were “democratically elected”. The TC has also accepted the State Attorney and the Public Prosecutor’s petition to proceed with the criminal charges against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell and the other members of the Parliament Bureau, for allowing a pro-independence debate in the Catalan Chamber.

“No court decision will change our unequivocal determination to call a referendum this year”, stated Munté. She also emphasised that the joint resolution which has been now suspended by the TC emerged from the democratic mandate of the 27-S Catalan elections. “These resolutions were discussed and voted for by the Catalan MPs in the Parliament, who were democratically elected, and in accordance with the freedom of speech”, she added.

According to the Spanish Government, the referendum proposal contravenes the TC rulings. The executive of Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy also claimed that Forcadell and the rest of the Parliament Bureau members were warned that they couldn’t launch any initiative aimed to arouse the pro-independence process.

Case against Forcadell proceeds

The TC has also accepted the State Attorney and the Public Prosecutor’s petition to proceed with the criminal charges against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell and the other members of the Parliament Bureau, for allowing a pro-independence debate in the Catalan Chamber.

Thus, the magistrates didn’t accept the pleas presented by Forcadell and the other members of the Parliament Bureau, Lluís Corominas, Anna Simó, Ramona Barrufet and Joan Josep Nuet, which claimed that the debate on the pro-independence roadmap had an “autonomic nature” and didn’t contravene the TC’s resolutions. They also warned that “by prosecuting” those who defend freedom of speech “democracy disappears”.

By accepting the State Attorney and the Public Prosecutor’s petition, the magistrates could open a new case against Forcadell or add the new particularities to the pending trial, which started on the 16th of December at Barcelona’s High Court.

Forcadell: “We can’t open the door to censorship”

Right after testifying before Barcelona’s High Court, Forcadell addressed the media and lamented the Spanish Government’s “use of the judicial power to limit the Parliament’s democratic right to debate”. “We can’t open the door to censorship because if we do, we won’t be able to close it again”, she warned and added that “no court could impede” the Parliament from “discussing independence”. “What happened today is inconceivable in a truly democratic state”, stated Forcadell because “ideas can’t be prosecuted under the penal code”.

The Parliament’s President considered bringing her before the court “another step” towards the Spanish State’s attempt to “violate the separation of powers”. Therefore, she warned that what is at risk with her trial “is not the political future of a person” but “democracy”. During the press conference the Parliament’s President thanked “the warmth and support” she received from many political representatives but especially that from the citizens. “The people never let you down”, she added.

Original article here: http://www.catalannewsagency.com/politics/item/tc-suspends-referendum-resolution-could-take-further-legal-action-against-forcadell

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