Sunday, 05 February 2017

Mas before trial over 9-N: “They wanted us to bow but they will find us standing”

CNA

Barcelona (CNA).- The main political figures responsible for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence which took place in 2014 will have to testify before the court this Monday. The Public Prosecutor accuses former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former vice-president Joana Ortega and former education minister Irene Rigau of disobedience and breach of trust for allowing the non-binding referendum to take place and wants them to be banned from public office for 10 years. “It is a shameful trial, it is absolutely against democracy”, stated Mas and pointed out that the “success of the 9-N and its high turnout” is what led to the judicialisation of the case. However, in several appearances this past Sunday, Mas insisted that the three whom have been summonsed face the trial “calmly and in good spirit” but also “moved and grateful for the people’s support”. “They wanted us on our knees, but they will find us standing”, he stated.

The Prosecutor believes that the former Catalan President, Ortega and Rigau “were fully aware” that by preparing the non-binding consultation “they were breaking the mandatory rulings of the Spanish Constitutional Court”.

“We are innocent from a legal perspective but we are responsible from a democratic point of view” insisted former Catalan President and said with irony that he considered himself “guilty” for “committing the mortal sin which is voting”.  According to Ortega, what is being summonsed this Monday “is the 9-N’s core” rather than “three political representatives”.

“A shameful trial”

In several appearances before the media on Sunday, Mas emphasised that having to face a 10-year ban from public office for allowing the 9-N symbolic vote is “nonsense”. Although considering it absurd Mas admitted to expecting the trial to happen. “I don’t understand this trial but I must confess that I can imagine that it will happen”, he stated.

Regarding the judicialisation of politics and the independence of the judicial body in Spain, Mas assured that he believed in the judges’ independence. “I have to, since I believe in democracy”. However, he nuanced that when it comes to Catalonia’s pro-independence aspirations “it is hard to believe in the Public Prosecutor’s independence”

  • 9-N_summonsed

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former vice-president Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, during a press conference before facing trial over 9-N symbolic referendum (by ACN)