Former Catalan Parliament speaker sued for disobedience

by Lorraine Williamson
Roger Torrent - (cropped)

BARCELONA – The Catalan Supreme Court (TSJC) on Monday subpoenaed current Minister of Enterprise, Roger Torrent on a crime of disobedience to the Constitutional Court. Torrent was the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament

Three MPs have also been summoned for disobedience. These are Josep Costa and Eusebi Campdepadrós from the Junts party and Adriana Delgado from ERC. Furthermore, the Public Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit against them for disobeying the Constitutional Court. This is the body responsible for interpreting the Constitution when processing resolutions for the exercise of the right to self-determination and the rebuke of the monarchy by the Catalan government in October 2019. 

‘Restriction on freedom of expression’ 

According to Torrent, an attempt has been made to “restrict freedom of expression in the regional parliament.” Moreover, he regrets that he is being investigated for processing two resolutions as Speaker of Parliament. However, “the repressive machine continues to work to limit and persecute free speech,” Torrent said in a tweet. 

According to the former speaker of parliament, “Parliament is the temple of free speech and debate”. By “attempting to censor is a grave mistake that goes against democracy.” The current president, Pere Aragonès, criticised the fact that the parliamentary debate is being pushed into the legal domain. 

€10,000 deposit

The case is based on a complaint from the Public Prosecution Service. The lawyers of Torrent, Costa, Delgado and Campdepadrós have appealed the TSJC’s decision to allow the complaint. However, the court rejected this appeal. Furthermore, the investigating judge has accepted that the political party Vox exercises the popular accusation in the case. To this end, the extreme right-wing party must pay a deposit of €10,000. 

The complaint mentioned proposed resolutions registered by Junts, ERC and CUP on October 22, 2019 against the October 1 verdict. It also mentioned defending the right to self-determination. Furthermore, the complaint was presented by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Catalonia on March 1. 

The prosecutor believes the incorporation of these proposed resolutions meant disregarding the Constitutional Court. As it had overturned the laws separating Catalonia from Spain and warned the regional parliament of its obligation to avoid were applied. 

Torrent and the three other MPs should be out on September 15th. 

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