Although one shouldn't harbour much hope with respect to what the Supreme Court will end up deciding, now it's already been four months since the start of the Catalan independence trial, it was important to listen this Tuesday to the three prosecutions (the public prosecution service, the state's legal service and political party Vox) in their final turn to speak before the trial concludes. The first two because, in some sense, they are executing arms of the state and the government; and the far-right Vox, to hear how far they're prepared to raise the pitch. There was nothing new from the prosecutions in their speeches, just the verification that, ultimately, the trial has been nothing more than a formality since the sentences have been written in advance. One of the speakers hit the nail right on the head when it comes to what the Supreme Court now has to conclude in its sentences for the political prisoners: a punishment with permanent dissuasive aspects so that nobody tries it again for many years.
That's how to understand the severity of the requested sentences, the criminalisation of public mobilisations, the narratives concocted on untruths and which reach public opinion markedly biased from what happened during those days, and, above all, the reassertion that there was a coup d'état protagonised by the institutions of Catalonia in collusion with pro-independence social organisations. The public prosecutors didn't leave a crack in their four speeches. That public prosecution service which it seems nobody has named and which PSOE now and PP before say they know nothing about and which is upholding the charges of rebellion for nine of the defendants with requested sentences that go from 16 to 25 years in prison and with the added twist that they should serve 50% of that in confinement before having access to the "third degree".
Although the state's solicitors took it down a notch to sedition, the sentences they're calling for are between 6 and 12 years. The conviction in the political Madrid is that the Supreme Court is very in line with the public prosecutors' version, with the argumental basis from investigating judge Pablo Llarena, and that presiding judge Marchena and the other members of the court have by now mentally constructed what the final verdict has to be. With two or three days left, the defences' arguments are left for next week, as are the public statements from the defendants, then the trial will be suspended until the judges decide their verdict.
It's clear that the image of the Supreme Court as an impartial court with full guarantees won't come out of this trial in good shape. But it seems that everyone has more than accepted that and, with time, it will die down. It will be many years from here until the European courts have their say and when that moment comes another political class won't feel responsible either. The thing is that, in the end, what worry can a Supreme Court have when, in the order to keep the remains of the dictator Francisco Franco in the Valle de los Caídos, it says the following: "The fact that he was head of state from 1st October 1936 until his death on 20th November 1975 gives the whole controversy some special traits which cannot be ignored...". It's basic stuff that on that day he was taking part in a military coup against the legitimate government of the republic but, it seems, history can be rewritten by the courts. Quite the torpedo to the truth but which helps us understand everything.