Judge Pablo Llarena has rejected the application from former ANC (Catalan National Assembly) president, Jordi Sànchez, for release from preventive detention without bail. The Supreme Court judge believes that new facts relating to his participation in the events under investigation have emerged and that the risk of reoffending persists.
The evidence forwarded by Barcelona's court of instruction number 13 has played against Sànchez, who was second on the electoral lists for Junts per Catalunya in the election last December, as has his decision to not resign as a deputy. Joaquim Forn, however, did resign as a deputy, and last week Llarena decided to not release him either.
The judge rejects Jordi Sànchez's argument that the facts attributed to him don't constitute criminal activity. Instead, he indicates that during the investigation, "new supporting elements" have appeared about the participation of the ANC and its then president. According to the judge, these new elements include Josep Maria Jové's confiscated diary "which shows not only the meeting of pro-independence political parties and the representatives of ANC and Òmnium Cultural, but also that they contemplated mobilisation of the public as a strategic element for the attainment of independence".
The magistrate also refers to the numerous public speeches in which representatives from the world of politics and from the pro-independence organisations "projected the existence of joint action, Mr Sànchez even having stated on one occasion that, on this question, he was speaking in the name of ex-president Mr Puigdemont and the pro-independence parties PDeCAT, ERC and CUP, when proclaiming himself a guarantor of the holding of the referendum which would lead to a declaration of independence, unless the Spanish government blocked it with improper acts".
Finally, he also cites the calls made by the ANC "for the public to congregate in demonstrations aimed at making the banning of the referendum more difficult or, even, giving guidelines as to how they should occupy polling stations in the early morning of 1st October, to make it impossible for the [Spanish] state's security bodies and forces to be able to carry out the legal decisions to prevent it from being held".
With respect to recidivism, the judge says that, compared to some other suspects, Jordi Sànchez poses a greater risk, since "not only has he not renounced the political activity which -on various fronts- has been used as the instrument to carry out events, but he has reaffirmed his commitment by joining an election candidacy which proclaims its objective to reestablish the political dynamics which lead to the actions from which arose the liabilities which this criminal process is considering".
As such, when analysing what his future action could be, the judge indicates that "not only do we have to heed this factor, but also the marked determination with which the suspect has pursued the attainment of his objectives, which is reflected in his support of large-scale demonstrations by the public which -as was said in the decision on 4th December 2017- promoted a social outburst and which specifically stimulated or assumed a risk that there would grow an irreparable violent reaction against social harmony and against the territorial organisation of the state".
In his written decision, the judge alludes to the existence of "a political context in which there are still sectors which explicitly argue that the independence of Catalonia has to be achieved immediately and that they have to persevere in the secession mechanism contrary to the criminal rules which here are under examination. As such, they continue following the secession plan described in the Enfocats document, which considers undertaking a constitutive legislature after disconnecting from the Spanish state and in which was expressed the need to persevere in the strategy and in the objectives even in the case that the state should intervene in the institutions of the autonomous community".
The judge notes that Sànchez "maintains his pro-independence ideology, which is constitutionally valid, but which makes impossible the conviction that reoffending is impossible that there would be with respect to someone professing the opposite ideology".