Wednesday, July 28

The Court of Accounts claims 1.9 million from Junqueras and Puigdemont | Spain

Celebration in the Parliament after the proclamation of the Catalan Republic in Barcelona on October 27, 2017. In the center Carles Puigdemont and to the left, Oriol Junqueras.
Celebration in the Parliament after the proclamation of the Catalan Republic in Barcelona on October 27, 2017. In the center Carles Puigdemont and to the left, Oriol Junqueras.Albert garcia

The Court of Auditors is going to demand this Tuesday 1,981,453 euros plus interest from the former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, a fugitive from justice for almost four years, and the same figure from the former vice president, Oriol Junqueras, pardoned by the Government. These amounts respond to alleged expenses unduly incurred in the foreign promotion of the process and the search for international support for the Catalan independence project.

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Both secessionist leaders are part of a list that includes 37 other former high-ranking officials and officials of the Catalan Administration, including former president Artur Mas, who is being asked for a higher amount, 2,803,115.8 euros plus interest, according to the provisional liquidation act, to which THE COUNTRY has had access.

In total, the Court of Auditors claims 5,417,899 euros that the Generalitat would have used to disseminate its plans to break up with Spain during the period between 2011 and 2017. In the cases in which the responsibility of several ex-officials of the Government concur with respect to a same concept of undue expense, the responsibility of all of them is joint and several in relation to the damages caused by this concept, according to the Court. That is, the reimbursement of the total amount can be demanded from any of the causes of the damage, which may claim the corresponding part from the others.

The ex-president Artur Mas is one of the pro-independence leaders who accumulates a greater debt, since his presidency, between 2010 and 2016, encompasses almost the entire investigated period, except for its final stretch, in which the activity of foreign projection was especially intense. The highest figure, however, corresponds to the former secretary general of Diplocat, Albert Royo, with 3.6 million, followed by the one who was general auditor of the Generalitat, Mireia Vidal, with 3.16 million plus interest.

Artur Mas was already sentenced to the reimbursement of 4,988,620 euros, along with other senior officials of his Government, for the organization of the consultation of 9-N 2014, by ruling of the Court of Accounts that is being appealed to the Supreme Court.

As then, the sum of 5.4 million euros that is now being claimed from the leaders of the process It results from the alleged accounting responsibility contracted by different administrative actions that involved a diversion of funds and which they must face jointly and severally, although proportionate to the degree of participation they had in the different investigated events. These factors explain, for example, that the ex-Minister of Foreign Action in the Puigdemont stage, Raül Romeva, must face a payment very similar to that of the ex-president, in this case of 2,108,818 euros, which if not insured will give way, as in all other cases, to the seizure of goods until the amount claimed is covered.

In relation to the former Minister of Economy in the Mas stage, Andreu Mas-Colell, the record lends itself to some confusion. His full name appears linked to expenses amounting to 963,615 euros. But in the same document there are expenses attributed to Andreu Mas, simply, amounting to 1,839,500 euros. Among those involved there is no Andreu Mas, so in the court’s own media it is estimated that it is most likely that this last figure should be added to the previous one, since it is the same person in both cases. The total claimed would reach in this case the amount of 2,803,115 euros plus interest, equal to that attributed to former president Artur Mas, with whom he would share the accounting responsibility for most of the expenses that are attributed to both, in many coincident cases. Even higher (2.95 million plus interest) is the figure that is claimed from Francesc Homs, a member of the Mas Government as counselor for the Presidency.

Once the provisional liquidation has been carried out, a new phase of the procedure will be entered, in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office should formulate the corresponding claim, following the guidelines of a civil process. In the Court of Auditors, the controversy over whether or not their actions represent a stone in the way of resuming a fluid dialogue between the Government and the Generalitat has been followed with disappointment, but it is easily detected that there is special interest in verifying which from now on it will be the position adopted by the aforementioned accusing parties.

Legitimation of the State

In such media, it is ruled out, in any case, that they could retrace their steps, since both the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office urged the proceedings of the court. Now, in the case of the State Bar, it is in doubt what its role may be from now on. The Generalitat is going to argue that it has active standing to claim any amount, to the extent that the sums allegedly diverted would correspond to the funds of the Catalan administration, not to the funds of the State. The Catalan Civil Society entity, which called for the preliminary phase, will continue in the procedure, in part because it has joined the one related to the illegal referendum of October 1, in which case the Court of Auditors claims another 4.8 million from those involved. . The same media express some concern about the possibility that certain decisions that may be taken from now on may be misinterpreted, after the aforementioned controversy over the existence of “stones on the road”, an expression used by Minister José Luis Ábalos. From the first moment, the investigating delegate, Esperanza García, informed the parties of the process that their conclusions are provisional and that a part of those initially involved will cease to be once the processing of allegations that this Tuesday will follow the communication of the minutes. of liquidation to the interested parties or their legal representatives.

The provisional liquidation act concentrates in 31 chapters the activities developed by the Generalitat for the foreign promotion of the process. For the trips made by the presidents of the Generalitat, for example, 274,069.68 euros plus interest are claimed, and for the tasks of the delegation of the Catalan Administration in the United Kingdom on the independence project, 293,069.68 euros. Regarding other undue expenses in the so-called embassies of Catalonia, the file claims the following amounts: the delegation in France spent 57,416 euros, and that of Poland 29,456, for 148,538 that of the United States, 136,829 that of Austria, 67,727 that of the Union European and 95,747 that of Italy, among others, figures to which in all cases interest must be added.

In international visits and activities of Diplocat, the foreign promotion body, the amount unduly spent was 1,536,191 euros. Various foreign promotion contracts of the process They cost more than 1.4 million euros, including those awarded to the Independt company, which amounted to 1,392,300 euros.

The conclusion reached by the report’s instructors was that “the cause and the true object of the hiring was to finance the development of an illegal act, which was the consultation promoted by the Government of the Catalan Generalitat, and, specifically, to face to the expenses and fees received by the so-called group of electoral observers ”hired in relation to the referendum prohibited by the Constitutional Court, and whose celebration on October 1, 2017 resulted in the suspension of autonomy by application of article 155 of the Charter Magna.

Faith of errors

In a previous version of this information, some amounts claimed by the Court of Auditors from one of those involved was slightly inaccurate. The bug has been fixed

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