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Another court case related to Catalonia's October 1st referendum and all that the weeks both before and after it signified in that autumn of 2017 has just been concluded by the high court of Catalonia (TSJC) and the pro-independence politicians on trial have been heavily punished. We are talking about none other than the JxCat and ERC representatives on the Catalan Parliament's procedural committee, the Bureau, whose votes allowed Parliament to discuss the laws to manage Catalonia's rupture with the Spanish state. Lluís Corominas, Anna Simó, Ramona Barrufet and Lluis Guinó have been found guilty of disobedience and sentenced to 20 months of disqualification from holding public office and fined 30,000 euros. As happened earlier in the case of parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell, to whom we will return later, justice, in practice, imposes conditions on parliamentary action and states that the debate should not have taken place. There is thus a clear conflict between those who argue that if a parliament is anything, it is the legislative chamber in which everyone can freely express their opinion and, consequently, claim this right, and on the opposite side, are those who opposed to holding debates in the Parliament of Catalonia without putting limits on them.

Accustomed as we are to hearing about sentences of years in prison in the general case being pursued by the Spanish judiciary against the independence movement, there may be those who consider that the court's decision is not really so disproportionate. I am a long way from such a thesis as the TSJC has shattered any minimally acceptable interpretation of what margins apply to a parliament in a Spanish autonomous community. And with regard to the sentence itself, it cannot be taken for granted that it is only two years of disqualification from office when what it does is wipe out, at least temporarily, for almost two years, four political careers. But the court's decision also shows up a great, contradictory imbalance, given the sentence of eleven years' prison imposed on speaker Carme Forcadell by the Supreme Court. As has already been debated in several international political forums and numerous parliaments, the Forcadell ruling has no possible explanation.

Thus, with the sentence for the members of Parliament's Bureau announced, there is another turn of the screw in the injustice that has been committed. Of course, 20 months' disqualification for Corominas, Simó, Barrufet and Guinó is excessive, but how can the 11 years in prison dished out to Forcadell even be contemplated? What explanation could each sentence have? Could it not be that the speaker of Parliament had become a major target long before, due to her role as the head of the Catalan National Assembly, the pro-independence civil body that launched, together with Òmnium Cultural, the first massive demonstrations on September 11th? The repression raged to a grotesque point with Forcadell, and now her sentence, when contrasted to that of the four members of the Bureau, does not stand up to any possible explanation.

One last thought: the Spanish public prosecutors and the state solicitors had both requested the exact sentences for the four defendants which the judges of the Catalan high court ended up awarding. That the Spanish government's legal representatives have aligned their ideas with the public prosecution service gives an idea of ​​the extent to which the PSOE executive has validated the repression against the independence movement with the bodies that depend on it. And thus the so-called de-judicialization of politics is going nowhere. To top it off, Parliament isn't allowed to talk about the idea of an amnesty either, according to the Catalan Socialists. Deplorable.