The Catalan president, Quim Torra, has been notified that he will stand trial for disobedience on 25–25 September. The charge is a result of his failure to remove signs and symbols supporting Catalonia’s jailed and exiled leaders when ordered to do so during the last Spanish election campaign in April.
The following statement has been issued by the Office of the President.
Statement from the Office of the President of the Government of Catalonia
Barcelona, 2 September 2019
This morning, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, through his legal representative, received a judicial notice communicating the date for sessions of a trial to be held at the High Court of Justice of Catalonia, where he faces charges of disobedience or, subsidiarily, failure to provide assistance. The High Court has scheduled the sessions for 25 and 26 September of this year.
This is the clearest demonstration of the speed with which the justice system can act when there is an interest in doing so. In other words, the justice system is slow only when it wishes to be. Thus, there are democratic individuals who must spend nearly two years in preventive detention awaiting the outcome of their criminal trial. In this case, the court is clearly in a great rush to settle the case of President Torra.
We believe that in this case the setting of the trial date has been markedly precipitous. This is reflected in the fact that the decision setting the trial date was taken on 31 July 2019, before the date of the decision on admission and exclusion of evidence (2 September 2019). This is contrary to the provisions of Article 785(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is important to bear in mind that apart from being impartial, judges and courts must be seen to be impartial. The irregularity in the setting of the trial date casts doubt on this impartiality. Consequently, the defence will take appropriate legal action against this procedural error, which demonstrates that haste is the enemy of rigour.
As a result of the precipitous setting of the trial date, the sessions scheduled for 25 and 26 September coincide with the date of another trial, previously set, in which President Torra’s defence attorney must take part. This other case involves a prisoner and therefore takes precedence. The dates also coincide with a plenary session of the Parliament of Catalonia (agreed by the parliamentary groups in the parliamentary business committee) at which there will be a debate on the Catalan government's general political orientation (as stipulated in Article 154 of the Regulations of the Parliament of Catalonia).