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British international law specialist Ben Emmerson, the barrister who took the case of Catalan political prisoners Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention  (WGAD), has raised the tone of his criticisms against the Spanish government's positioning on the issue this Saturday, categorically denying the claims made by Spanish officials and saying that the country was acting like a "rogue state". This follows the Spanish call for the recusal of two members of the UN Working Group which had found the prisoners to have been kept in custody arbitrarily​.

In a tweet thread, Emmerson asserted that "the Spanish Government’s response to the WGAD ruling is looking increasingly desperate", while denying that there was any "conflict of interest" or that the report was leaked to Emmerson in advance. "There is no truth whatsoever in either of these claims," said the barrister, who furthermore says he "has never met (or spoken to) any of the current members of WGAD."

In addition, he noted that Spanish officials "have deliberately lied to the UN" and pointed to them as the people responsible for a leak of the report to the newspaper El País, the first to give details of the text. He asserted that all of this will be clarified when the UN "investigates these bogus complaints," because "this level of deliberate dishonesty from the officials of a UN Member State is rare. Spain is acting like a rogue State. By making these desperate allegations, Sanchez has shot himself in the foot."

Finally, in a referrence to the Supreme Court trial of Junqueras, Sànchez and Cuixart and nine other pro-independence leaders, the lawyer called on the Spanish PM to "stop this Stalinist show trial" and ended with a football metaphor.

 

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