Legal proceedings have been brought against President Artur Mas (currently in office), vice-president Joana Ortega (now retired from active politics) and Minister Irene Rigau (currently in office) by the Spanish justice system in a case investigating the consultation process which took place in Catalonia on November 9, 2014.
It should be noted that the consultation process involved the participation of 2,344,828 citizens and was a civil, peaceful and democratic response to the Spanish government’s refusal to authorize an official referendum on the independence of Catalonia. President Mas has been charged with disobedience, malfeasance, misuse of public funds and abuse of office for actively having allowed the vote to take place.
It is also worth noting that the legal proceedings are the result of an appeal lodged by Spain’s Attorney General. They are similar to charges filed by, among others, organizations linked to the extreme Right, such as the minority group Manos Limpias, a so-called union.
It appears that the court has decided to summon President Mas to testify on the 75th anniversary of the death by firing squad of the president of the Catalan Government Lluís Companys, on October 15, 1940. President Companys was arrested by the Gestapo and handed over to the perpetrators of the Spanish coup for execution. Companys is the only democratically elected European president to have been extradited and executed by the governing body of a European state.
The International Secretariat of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya would like to express its total rejection and condemnation of this anti-democratic judicial action. With these proceedings, Spain demonstrates once again the non-existent separation of powers in its model of the state. Spain is also underlining its inability to provide political alternatives to the ongoing and legitimate requests for dialogue on behalf of the Government of Catalonia and the majority of Catalan society.
A people who, only two days ago, expressed their will in the national elections, which saw the pro-independence forces winning an absolute majority of seats in the Catalan Parliament.
For further information please contact:
Víctor Terradellas i Maré
Secretary of International Relations of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya