It's clear that pubic prosecutor Javier Zaragoza exceeded his authority when on Wednesday he said that the Supreme Court's verdict on the political prisoners would be released during the first fortnight of October and, more specifically, he limited it to the first ten days, just before the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, Spain's national day. The position expressed by Zaragoza in a forum held in Buenos Aires (perhaps he thought that the news wouldn't spread like wildfire?) doesn't leave the members of the Supreme Court in the best of positions when it comes to all that about the separation of powers, the secrecy of the court's deliberations and the independence of the judiciary. Maybe, by this point, the thing is that everyone has accepted that any of the three are little respected but nobody now believes that a Supreme Court prosecutor, who had a key role in the trial, went into panelist mode.
For that reason it's not strange that Spain's attorney general, María José Segarra, should have wanted to give Zaragoza a slap on the wrist, discrediting his prediction, asking for speculation to be avoided and explaining the enormous difficulties of an enormously complex sentence, especially if the wish is to hand down convictions which don't have a leg to stand on legally speaking, especially when it comes to the charges of rebellion, sedition and, to an important extent, misuse of public funds. It's clear that Zaragoza wasn't playing it by ear, nor was he playing a panelist. Bascially, because the Supreme Court prosecutor, who has spent ten years as the chief prosecutor at the National Audience and played an important role in all the matters to do with ETA, is one level, or maybe two, below Segarra on the prosecution service's organisational chart, but has a much greater control over the state's resources than she does, as, at the end of the day, she's just passing through the office.
The exact date of the verdict's release is not inconsequential since with the calling of a Spanish election for 10th November, and given they will more than likely be found guilty, it's probable that the political prisoners won't manage to stand as candidates. Perhaps that's why the coordinator of Junts per Catalunya in Madrid, Laura Borràs, whether she wanted to or not, started a debate on that possibility, given that Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull headed the lists for Barcelona, Lledia and Tarragona on 28th April. Obviously, Borràs made a mistake sparking a debate the prisoners didn't want and given the imminence of the sentences, not standing in the election doesn't help them at all. Now she'll have to redirect a public debate which didn't exist until she spoke on the radio. Esquerra has distanced itself from this controversy and will stretch as far as it can the candidacies of Junqueras and Romeva which, on the other hand, gave it the chance to win a Spanish election in Catalonia for the first time.