The Supreme Court orders a repeat trial of members of the Parliamentary Board for lack of impartiality of two judges

The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court has annulled the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia of October 19, 2020, which sentenced four former members of the Catalan Parliament for crime of disobedience in relation to the processing of parliamentary initiatives related to the independence process that concluded with the referendum of 1-O 2017.

The TS considers that the right to an impartial court of the accused has been violated because two of the magistrates of the Catalan TSJ who made up the trial court –José Luis Barrientos Pacho and Carlos Ramos Rubio–“they had already externalized in previous proceedings an explicit stance on issues that later constituted the essential object of the trial”, stated in the Supreme Court ruling.

The High Court declares the nullity of the trial held in the case with regard to the four appellants, who are Anna Simo, Luis Maria Corominas, Ramona Barrufet Y Lluis Guinoand of all the subsequent actions, “the actions must be reinstated at the moment immediately prior to that, which must be held with a different personal composition of the Court that issued the sentence now annulled”, it is stated in the sentence, to which it has had access this diary.

The Supreme Court emphasizes that it does not harbor the slightest doubt, “in addition to the accredited professional career of the magistrates who were challenged here, that whatever their initial position had been, it could have been modified in the event of new arguments or circumstances. , whether they arose during the investigation of the case or in the act of the oral trial. But this is not the question, “he warns.

The Supreme Court emphasizes that the right to be tried by a impartial court it requires that the members of the court appear at the plenary act “unaware of any prior position taking on the essential issues that have to be discussed there, devoid of any kind of evaluative prejudice”. And he adds in this regard the sentence: “If the metaphor were appropriate: the game must start with the score at zero.”

the recurring Anna Simó i Castelló denounced the lack of impartiality of two of the magistrates who were part of the trial court. Specifically, he argued that the president Jose Luis Barrientos Pacho, and the magistrate Carlos Ramos Rubio speaker of the sentence, whose challenges were rejected, were part of the Chamber that admitted the three complaints that, successively, gave rise to the formation of the present case; and also of the one that dismissed the appeals filed against those decisions.

In said resolutions, “very particularly in the order dated March 16, 2017, which dismissed one of the appeals, said magistrates would have explicitly adopted, according to the appellant, a position on various issues of the case , which would imply in his opinion an unequivocal prejudice in relation to all or most of the defensive arguments, separating them from the required objective impartiality”, says the Supreme Court.

The Chamber upholds the appeal of Anna Simó, to which the procedural representations of Corominas, Barrufet and Guinó joined. In the appealed ruling, the Catalan Supreme Court acquitted a fifth defendant, Mireia Boya. The first four were imposed 1 year and 8 months of disqualification and a fine of €30,000 each one for crime of disobedience.

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