A total of 42 former senior independence officials, among which are the former presidents of the Generalitat Artur Mas and Carles Puigdemont, in addition to the recently pardoned Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull and Raül Romeva, will be informed this Tuesday the exact amount of the provisional settlement established by the Court of Auditors for its accounting responsibility in the alleged diversion of funds to the so-called ‘Catalan embassies’ and to the Consell de la Diplomàcia Pública de Catalunya, known as Diplocat. According to El País, the agency claims more than 1.9 million to Oriol Junqueras Y Carles Puigdemont.
This amount, which could exceed five million euros, is added to the 4.1 million euros that the accounting court’s instruction calculated that the referendum of October 1, 2017 cost and that were already consigned by people from the pro-independence environment.
In the process of this Tuesday has been summoned at 9.30 at legal representatives of these more than forty people to communicate the amount that, initially, the examiner of the supervisory body considers that they diverted the network of embassies abroad, and they will be informed of the bail that will be imposed to respond to a possible conviction.
For the time being, they will be able to present allegations to adjust some of the concepts claimed, and both the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the State Lawyer will be present at the event, as well as the legal representatives of the Generalitat, Diplocat, the Catalan Lawyers by the Constitution and the Catalan Civil Society, these last two persons appeared as a public action.
The amount allegedly deviated in Diplocat has been set after an instruction in which the legal representatives of the investigated charges have been able to present allegations. This has made it possible to adjust down some amounts claimed and even remove certain people from the initial list of those responsible, according to the sources consulted.
Specifically, the former presidents of the Generalitat Artur Mas and Carles Puigdemont; the ex-councilors of the Presidency Francesc Homs, Neus Munté and Jordi Turrull; the ex-ministers of Economy Andreu Mas Collel and Oriol Junqueras; and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva.
Also to those who were general secretaries Roger Albinyana, Amadeu Altafaj, Luis Bertrán, Albert Carreras de Odriozola, David Mascort Subirana, Joaquim Nin, Jordi Vilajoana, Aleix Villatoro and Pau Villoria; to the Comptrollers General of the Generalitat, María Vidal Ortí and Rosa Vidal Planella; and the delegated auditors, Jordi Serra Catalán, Javier Acín Biota, Virginia Astigarraga Pallarés and Francesc Cubel Creus.
Also on the list of presumed accountants are the Secretary General of Diplocat, Alberto Royo, and the delegates of the Generalitat in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Geneva, Poland, the United States, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Croatia, Austria and before the European Union.
None of them has the obligation to appear in person at the headquarters of the Court of AccountsInstead, they may be represented by their lawyers, who will be informed of the details of the claim for the amounts allegedly diverted. Among these lawyers is Francesc Homs, who was the spokesman for the Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCAT) in the Congress of Deputies, disqualified by the Supreme Court for supporting the sovereign consultation of November 9, 2014.
The Plenary of the Court of Accounts approved on March 28, 2019 an “audit report on the destination given to the resources assigned to the execution of the foreign action policies of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, corresponding to the years 2011-2017 “, at the request of the Mixed Commission (Congress-Senate) for relations with the Court of Accounts.
Said report reveals that unjustified expenses, ‘hand-made’ subsidies and fractioned contracts were detected to evade controls. The inspector concluded that a good part of these public funds were used to promote independence abroad, in breach of the law and invading the powers of the State.
The Court of Accounts already warned that it is impossible to know the purpose and justification of the entire budget (416 million in foreign action between 2011 and 2017), since the so-called ’embassies’ enjoyed financial autonomy and lacked control, and all of this allegedly led to actions outside their jurisdiction and outside their geographical scope, in breach of both its functions.
In fact, it claimed that it did not have documentation supporting the expenses of the ’embassies’ for an amount of 302,794 euros, especially from the United Kingdom, the United States, Austria, Croatia and Poland, and detected payments of 171,613 euros that are unjustified (private expenses , payments to people outside the delegations, etc.).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.