An urgent demand. The defence team of Catalan politician Laura Borràs, led by lawyer Gonzalo Boye, has requested the High Court of Catalonia (TSJC) this Thursday that, in order to guarantee her legal right to a defence in the trial she faces from this Friday over her management of the Institute of Catalan Letters ( ILC), she be allowed to testify last in the case. Boye is making this demand after it became known that the IT specialist Isaíes Herrero, the friend of Borràs's who was awarded the web design contracts which are at the centre of the case, had reached an agreement with the public prosecutors to tell all and incriminate the suspended parliamentary speaker who allegedly ordered the work contracts to be processed improperly, in exchange for a reduction in the penalty demanded by the prosecution, which could enable him to avoid prison if convicted. Boye alleges that the other two defendants in the case have been "compensated, given benefits or paid off."
Boye thus has revealed one of the preliminary questions he will be putting in the case in Friday's first session of the trial of Borràs, Herrero and Andreu Pujol. The prosecutor is asking for 6 years in prison and a 21-year ban on public office holding for Borràs and Herrero for the crimes of document falsification and abuse of authority. The defendants' appearances have been scheduled for February 20th, and the agreement between the two prosecution conducting the case and Herrero's defence is that he will plead guilty and give the details that the contracts were divided up into 18 invoices, adding up to 309,000 euros, on the instructions of the speaker and Junts party president, as shown in emails intercepted by the Mossos police, which the defence considers to be invalid.
"The only one putting up a defence"
In the submission to the court, to which ElNacional.cat has had access, Boye states that through the media "he became aware of the agreement reached between the public prosecutors and the defence teams of Isaías Herrero and Andreu Pujol with the aim of incriminating my representative, thus trying to save the case from the absence of evidence and the nullity of the proceedings". Initially, the pact that became known was that between the public prosecutor and Herrero, defended by lawyer Mariona Roig. Pujol, a friend of Herrero's, is accused of presenting a budget to the ILC, but he did not interact with Borràs and has no evidence against her. For Pujol, defended by Àlex Solà, the prosecutor is demanding three years in prison.
Gonzalo Boye explains that "the only way to guarantee Borràs's right to a legal defence is for her to appear last, both in the preliminary questions and throughout the court session" because, according to him, "in real terms [hers] is the only defence since she is being accused by the other parties". Boye states that "in the face of this new procedural scenario in which the co-accused have modified their defence approaches", he argues that as Borràs's lawyer he must take part last in the sequence in order to "defend her against accusations that are obviously compensated, given benefits or paid off, as will be those who carry them out".
For all of these reasons, the lawyer asks the court, presided over by judge Jesús María Barrientos, to guarantee her the right to a defence and allow him as her lawyer to appear last in the sequence throughout the trial, both in the preliminary questions and the interrogations. Usually, the public prosecutor always takes part first, followed by other prosecutions and then the defence lawyers. In the case of interrogations of the accused, the lawyer of the person testifying always asks questions last.