Monday, June 27

ERC and the CUP frustrate Borràs’ maneuver to hold on to the position when the TSJC opens an oral trial


Barcelona

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Junts wants to withdraw from the Regulation of the Parliament of Catalonia the mention of the suspension of the rights and duties of the deputies when the oral trial for a corruption case begins. The initiative, defended by Laura Borràs, President of the Autonomous Chamber and indicted in a case of alleged embezzlement, among other crimes, involves a new confrontation between Carles Puigdemont’s party with his government (ERC) and legislature (CUP) partners, who do not support regulatory reform on this point (article 25.4) although they are willing to “improve” other aspects of the text.

Last September 1st, The Bureau agreed to request a report from the parliamentary lawyers so that they could detail the “proposals for technical revision of the articles of the Regulation that pose problems of application or interpretation.” The document was commissioned on the premise that lawyers would adjust to issues «Legal and technical» And, as ‘El Periódico’ advanced yesterday, the text was delivered on Monday afternoon to the members of the Table so that they could have it before the meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

However, the political groups except Junts, according to their spokesmen throughout yesterday, in public or in private, consider that the lawyers had overreached in his functions by proposing the deletion of article 25.4, which states that “in cases where the prosecution [a uno de los 135 diputados] be it by crimes related to corruption, The Table (…), once the act of opening the oral trial is final (…), must agree the suspension of parliamentary rights and duties in a manner immediate (…)».

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For lawyers, this draft “has no precedent or reference in our parliamentary law” and they point out –in the 180-page document consulted by ABC– that could be unconstitutional by not respecting the presumption of innocence. The parliamentary groups suspect that behind the position of the lawyers is Borràs, who intends to avoid a temporary suspension as a regional deputy in the event that the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) opens an oral trial.

In the Statutes of Together

Curiously, This argument, that of the presumed unconstitutionality, is the main reason that Borràs and Junts use to defend the regulatory reform. Although a similar text appears in the Statutes of Junts (article 9): «(…) Affiliate status will be automatically suspended for those subjected to criminal proceedings against whom it has been issued (one) interlocutory for the opening of oral proceedings for a crime related to corruption ”.

The lawyers’ proposal, despite everything, has a very limited legislative path. To change the Regulation, it must be done by an absolute majority in the plenary session and, first, go through the corresponding commission. Yesterday, ERC and the CUP made it clear that they will not support the elimination of article 25.4, reason why they will frustrate the intention of Borràs. Above all, in the case of the anti-system because article 25.4 is their ‘work’, which they managed to agree on with Junts and ERC in July 2017. «We we have not moved. The article is a necessary mechanism ”, said Marta Vilalta (ERC). And Eulàlia Reguant (CUP) added: «The article do not touch, it responds to the will of the Parliament at the proposal of our group ».

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The reform – if approved – would also affect three other deputies of the Parliament of Catalonia, such as Meritxell Serret, Lluís Salvadó and Josep Maria Jové, all of ERC, involved in cases of alleged embezzlement by the ‘procés’. Despite this, official ERC sources indicated, yesterday, that they are not willing to reform the Regulation to adapt it to a specific case, such as Borràs, and that the steps to be followed in the event that an oral trial is opened to some of the three autonomic deputies of ERC.

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