Gonzalo Boye, a lawyer whose clients include Catalan presidents Carles Puigdemont and Quim Torra, today appeared before Spain's National Audience. The hearing started around 12:30pm this Wednesday, after he had been summonsed by investigating judge María Tardón. He had left court again by 1pm. The judge turned down the public prosecution service's request for bail measures to be imposed.
Boye is under investigation for alleged money laundering related to one of his former clients, a Galician drug trafficker known as Sito Miñanco. Within a week, he is scheduled to appear in court in Belgium alongside Puigdemont in the first hearing on the third European Arrest Warrant Spain has issued against the president. He says he wants to believe is unrelated to the investigation against him. He adds that he is "very calm".
His appearance before the judge lasted some twenty minutes. During the hearing, public prosecutors asked for him to be required to present himself at court on the 1st and 15th of every month as a bail measure, but didn't ask for him to be banned from leaving Spain. According to Puigdemont's lawyer, that position was "contradictory", leading the judge to turn down the request.
"We've come to clarify a situation that from our point of view was already quite clear", he said as he left court accompanied by his partner Isabel Elbal and another of the lawyers from his team. He said that, as the investigation continues, currently under seal, he will clarify whatever is necessary. "I have nothing to do with money laundering," he said: "People can throw whatever they want against me, but what they won't find is any evidence of criminality".
He said that the source of the accusations "is apparently the existence of contracts with IOUs that were allegedly used to recover money from Sepblac". Sepblac is the "Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering", part of Spain's economy ministry. He says that "at the time, Sepblac found those facts didn't constitute a crime, simply an administrative sanction against the people who were carrying money."
Asked whether he believes the investigation against him is related to his work defending Puigdemont, the lawyer said that he "wants to understand that it doesn't" and that "it shouldn't do". He highlighted the "very clear" decision by the judge to not limit his freedom of movement, nor impose any other bail conditions.