A few years ago, in both the Spanish Congress and the Catalan Parliament, there was a common legislative instrument which acted as something of a hodgepodge of laws or initiatives which didn't fit together well, but which had to be passed even if by the back door. It was the law accompanying the budget and that way truly important things slipped through with practically no profound debate. When this Friday I read the order from judge Manuel Marchena, with which the Supreme Court refused to release on bail the political prisoners from Soto del Real and Alcalá Meco, what most called my attention wasn't the thousandth refusal to release them, but how the judge reveals his irritation with the report from the United Nations working group on arbitrary detentions calling for the immediate release of Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart and Oriol Junqueras.
In fact, with all the verdicts that come from abroad, the story is always the same. First, it's scorned in the most flagrant way possible: they're nobody, they lack any prestige, they've let themselves be taken in by the lies of the Catalan independence movement... And, in the end, it always ends in the same place: bringing out the biggest guns possible at that time to counter what is without doubt a solid, decisive blow, one of those that does enormous damage. That's what the UN report has been, in short, and we're starting to see the consequences. It does little good if any for the Supreme Court, beyond the always comforting internal consumption, to say that the UN report includes outlandish assertions lacking any logic or for certain analysis to be considered an attack against the court. Likewise, later on, that the UN should say that given the absence of violence, the Supreme Court is aiming to pressure them for their political opinions.
Marchena offers no arguments against the accusations, just a generic defence of the Spanish legal system. The Observatory of the Penal System and Human Rights has already accused the Supreme Court of lying in its arguments against the UN report. And the lawyer Ben Emmerson has announced there will soon be a second report from the working group on arbitrary detentions referring to Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa and their illegal detention. In his opinion, this will come out soon.
Too many fronts for a Supreme Court entrenched in its truth and from whom the only messages to have leaked since the end of the trial are about a hard sentence to set an example. All this, moreover, at a time when the Spanish state is facing an international test of enormous weight over whether Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín will in the end become MEPs on 2nd July and will be able to enter the Parliament in Strasbourg. The outrages carried out by the Spanish authorities not including the names of Puigdemont, Comín and Junqueras as MEPs, even though their names were published in the Official State Gazette as MEPs-elect, mean there's an important battle legally and politically speaking to come. And with an enormously uncertain result.