1 Mar, 2024 @ 10:04
1 min read

Spain’s top court opens ‘terrorism probe’ into exiled Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont

SPAIN’S Supreme Court has started a terrorism investigation into former Catalunya President Carles Puigdemont over protests linked to the region’s failed and illegally-organised 2017 independence referendum.

Although Puigdemont fled Spain in 2017 after the vote, the court states that there are several indications that he held ‘the absolute leadership’ and was the intellectual author behind riots in 2019.

PUIGDEMONT- AUGUST 2023(Cordon Press image)

Democratic Tsunami is a secretive Catalan group that in 2019 organized a string of protests against the jailing of several separatist leaders involved in the referendum.

During the demonstrations, thousands of protesters blocked access to Barcelona airport and fought with police- causing the cancellation of over 100 flights.

Ruben Wagensberg, a member of the separatist ERC party, also faces the same charges, and left Spain like Puigdemont and is currently residing in Switzerland.

The Supreme Court said it had decided to launch the probe after examining a statement by judge Manuel García-Castellon, which includes ‘evidence that, in his opinion, proves the participation of the two defendants in the events under investigation.’

Although no one died in the in the protests and riots, the court equates Tsunami Democratic with ‘street terrorism’.

In the court statement, it said the actions of the group could be considered terrorism due to its actions ‘against freedom’ that were carried out to seriously disturb public peace.

It added there are ‘several indications that would prove the participation of Carles Puigdemont in the events under investigation’.

Last November, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was able to form a government thanks to the support of Puigdemont’s Junts party, which agreed to back the socialist leader in exchange for an amnesty law.

But at a crucial vote last month members of Puigdemont’s party blocked the bill, arguing the legislation didn’t fully protect separatists from prosecution for alleged terrorism-related crimes.

The launch of the Supreme Court’s terrorism investigation into Puigdemont is likely to muddy the waters within Congress still further.

Catalan pro-independence parties have accused the Supreme Court of ignoring the separation of powers.

The spokesman for the Junts party, Josep Rius, said the judges were wanting to ‘interfere with the will of the legislature’ by making a terrorism accusation- indirectly referring to negotiations over the amnesty law.

Marta Vilaret from the ERC party accused the Supreme Court of wanting to become a ‘political actor’.


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