Thursday, April 11

The judge delays the trial of Laura Borràs

Laura Borràs, President of the Parliament. / Eph

The president of the Catalan Parliament is being investigated for four crimes

The resolution of the Borràs case will no longer be as imminent as the Catalan political forces expected, which placed the political-judicial clash before Easter. The judge has decided this Monday to revoke the order of March 14, according to which he concluded the investigation phase of the case and left the president of the Parliament at the gates of the prosecution.

Borràs gains time. The judge has now given 15 more days to the parties to present the appropriate arguments to the order. The civil and criminal chamber of the TSJC has estimated the resources presented by Borràs and another of the defendants and has stopped for the moment the opening of oral proceedings, the moment that could leave the nationalist leader without a seat, in application of an article of the regulation of the Catalan Chamber contemplated for cases of corruption. The independence movement debates these days the effects that Borràs’ dismissal as a deputy may have if ERC forces the strict application of the chamber’s regulations. There are those who believe that the legislature can blow up and also those who think that the coalition formed between ERC and Junts should not break up.

On March 14, the judge gave the Prosecutor’s Office ten days to present an indictment or file request. Sources from the TSJC indicated days ago that the magistrates had extended that term by another 20 days for the Public Ministry. Borràs and three other people are being investigated for the alleged crimes of continued crime of administrative prevarication, administrative fraud, forgery in a commercial document and continued crime of embezzlement of public funds. The leader of Junts is accused of acts committed when she was director of the Institute of Catalan Letters between 2013 and 2018, before being Minister of Culture, spokesperson for Junts in Congress and later president of the Catalan Chamber. She is accused of splitting contracts to favor a friend. She denies it. She claims that she is innocent.

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According to the investigating judge, in the order of March 14 now revoked, the result of the different proceedings “allows us to appreciate sufficiently solid indications” to be considered a “crime.” In her opinion, the leader of Junts, abused her functions as director of the Generalitat body “issuing unfair resolutions”, being aware that the awards contradicted the requirements of the legislation regulating public sector contracts .

The TSJC has now agreed to stop the indictment. It has upheld the petition of the appellants who argued “violation of the right of defense and a fair trial”, since they considered that they had not had enough time to study the case. Borràs also denounced the violation of the fundamental right to the presumption of innocence.

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