Mas to appeal sentence over 9N symbolic vote in the European Court
Barcelona (CNA).-“I accept this sentence calmly, but with absolute disconformity”, said former Catalan President, Artur Mas after Catalonia’s Supreme Court sentenced him to a two-year ban from holding public office for allowing the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Mas appeared before the press alongside former Vice president Joana Ortega and former Education Minister Irene Rigau, who have also been banned from taking public office for a period of 1 year and 9 months and 1 year and 6 months respectively. “We don’t regret anything, we are democrats and therefore our main duty is to obey the mandate of the people and act accordingly”, said Mas and announced that the sentence will be appealed “to the European justice system as the last resort”. A procedure, he nuanced, that “will have to start with the Spanish Supreme Court first and go to the Spanish Constitutional Court later”. However, he admitted having “little faith” in the Spanish justice system, since it has been proved that “the law is not the same for everybody”.
“The Spanish State prosecutes people because of their ideology”, he said and pointed out that he, Ortega and Rigau “have been sentenced for disobeying the Constitutional Court”. “This sentence is not appropriate, it is not what you would expect from a real democracy” he lamented and said that he considered Spanish democracy to have been “amputated”.
Mas emphasised that “the sentence is not firm” and although he admitted having “little hope” in the Spanish justice system, he announced that the accused will appeal the resolution. “We don’t expect the Spanish Supreme Court to admit it, but we have greater trust in the European justice system” he said. “We have to follow the correct procedure to reach the court in Strasbourg”, he said.
“Millions of people told us to go ahead and turn their will into ballot boxes”, he said, referring to the 9-N symbolic vote on independence his government allowed to take place in 2014. “We don’t regret anything, we are democrats and therefore our main duty is to obey the mandate of the people and act accordingly” stated Mas and called for the Catalan citizens and institutions “not to let themselves be impressed by these kinds of sentences”. He also called on them to “go ahead” since Catalonia “is on the right path”. “They wanted us to bow and they have found us standing, again”, he said.
“What kind of democracy do we want? What kind of democracy are we deconstructing?” former Education Minister Irene Rigau asked rhetorically. “We are going backwards”, she lamented. In a similar vein, the other public figure summonsed, former Vice president Joana Ortega, assured that whilst she finds the sentence over the 9-N “sad”, she will do the same.
Puigdemont: Catalonia’s pro-independence process emerges stronger from each difficulty
Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, assured that Catalonia’s pro-independence process will move forward regardless of the Catalan Supreme Court’s verdict. Indeed, he assured that the “process emerges stronger from each difficulty it faces”. “If we have come this far it is because we have overcome many obstacles, and this will not only be overcome but it will stimulate all those who doubt our determination to move forward”, he said. “If we haven’t been stopped so far it is because we all know that the real sovereignty lies in the citizens and they ask us to be by their side”, stated Puigdemont.