Homs at 9-N trial: “We couldn’t do anything else, freedom was at stake”
Madrid (CNA).- The judicial process against the Catalan politicians that helped to organise the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014 continues. This Monday, the former Catalan President’s right-hand man, Francesc Homs, was brought before the Spanish Supreme Court because he is currently a member of the Spanish Congress, while Mas and former Catalan Ministers, Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega, testified in Barcelona’s courthouse. Homs, who is accused of disobedience and perversion of justice for co-organising the consultation, admitted to “all the acts” he is accused of “and even more”, but doubted that they “constitute a crime”. Homs insisted that the resolution from the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspending the 9-N “was not concrete”. Moreover, he assured that the executive “couldn’t do any anything else” but allow the symbolic vote to take place, since “ideological freedom and freedom of speech were at stake”.
The Prosecutor’s temporary conclusions stated that Homs “didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation to take place and which were accountable to the Department of the Presidency” which Homs led at that time. The document emphasises that former Catalan Minister for Presidency and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs was “absolutely aware” that “by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions”. Thus, the Prosecutor demands a 9-year ban from public office.
During his testimony, Homs insisted that he didn’t commit any crime and that he would do the same again. He was responsible for the Government’s legal services at the time of the consultation and that besides this his being a lawyer made him knowledgeable of the TC resolutions and the executive’s responses. “I don’t remember seeing such an non-concrete resolution”, he said and that therefore the executive decided to continue with the process.
Homs already testified before Barcelona High Court
Homs already testified before Barcelona High Court earlier in February. He explained then that when Mas suggested launching a participative process rather than a referendum, in view of the TC’s ruling, the Spanish Government reaction was one “of disdain” and he pointed out that expressions such as “it has no effect” and “it is just a protest” were used by the government in Madrid.
Thus, Homs admitted to being “surprised” when the Spanish Government presented an appeal before the TC for alleged conflict of competences. In its new appeal, the Spanish Government used an article of the Spanish Constitution which enables to cautionary suspend a law which has been taken before the TC, which, according to Homs, is “an abuse of process”. Thus, the Catalan Government presented an appeal for violation of the fundamental rights of opinion, expression and political freedom.
In a similar vein, this Monday he emphasised the TC’s slowness regarding the 9-N reprimand. “If it was so obvious that it was illegal, why didn’t anybody try to stop it? Not even the Prosecutor?”, he rhetorically asked and pointed out that it took 15 days for the Spanish Government to impugn the consultation. Thus, he suggested, as Mas did on several occasions, that what really bothered the Spanish executive was the success of the 9-N symbolic vote. Indeed, 2.3 million people participated in the consultation.