The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said today that the disobedience case brought against him is “a political prosecution against Catalans who favour independence” by the Spanish state, noting that “independence is a just cause, the cause of a national minority”. The head of government, who appeared today before the High Court of Justice of Catalonia in a second trial for defying an order to remove banners expressing support for Catalan political prisoners and exiles from the façade of the government headquarters building, said: “This court is not neutral. Whatever I said, whatever I did, the judgement was already written.”
President Torra said he had therefore invoked his right not to testify against himself: “I told the judge that we’d better leave it at that because no doubt we all have a lot of work to do – that he should do his and that I would get on with mine, which includes devoting every hour of the day to fighting the consequences of the pandemic.”
In a media briefing following his court appearance, the head of the executive stressed that the Court is not impartial: “It’s full of judges who pass judgement on us when they shouldn’t dare to, because they clearly have conflicts of interest.” He added: “All of them have stated very clearly that they oppose Catalan independence, and we find many of them judging Catalans who favour independence.”
President Torra underscored that “a president of the Government of Catalonia has been put on trial over a banner that fulfils the UN order to publicise an absolutely unfair situation – that of the political prisoners and exiles”.
Condolences for the family of Jordi Turull and anniversary of Operation Judas
During the briefing, the head of the executive also expressed his condolences to the family of imprisoned independence leader Jordi Turull, whose father passed away yesterday. “When you have to see your father sicken and die from prison, that underscores how unjust the current situation is,” he said.
The president also referred to the first anniversary of Operation Judas (a police operation against members of the pro-independence Committees for the Defence of the Republic), which is being marked today, expressing his solidarity with those affected by what he described as an “operation carried out by the sewers of the state, which was aimed at scaring Catalan society but did not succeed”.
As he made his way to the High Court of Justice of Catalonia this morning, President Torra was accompanied by the Vice-President and Minister of Economy and Finance, Pere Aragonès; the Minister of the Presidency and government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó; the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Roger Torrent and Josep Costa; the vice-president of Òmnium Cultural, Marcel Mauri; the president of the National Assembly of Catalonia (ANC), Elisenda Paluzie; and representatives of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), Catalan Republican Left (ERC), the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) and Democrats of Catalonia.