Read in Catalan

Following the controversy caused by the German television interview featuring judge Joaquín Aguirre, investigator of the Volhov case, the alleged "Russian plot" linked to the Catalan independence process has raised public interest in this country, and now Gonzalo Boye, lawyer to Carles Puigdemont, has explained how this is "madness" that only took place in the judge's head. In an interview published in the newspaper Neues Deutschland (ND), the lawyer responds to Aguirre's accusations, arguing that it is in fact a "crazy story made up by a journalist and a judge", and asserting, with regard to the magistrate's appearance on the ARD public network, that "no judge in Germany would speak in public about court proceedings that have been entrusted to him". "They've created this mad story that only exists in their heads," insists the lawyer, summing up the accusations as "the biggest fake news story I've seen in recent years while defending president Puigdemont." ND recalls that although the lawyer is a consultant for the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, he became well-known in Germany after the arrest of the Catalan leader in exile, which took place in Schleswig-Holstein in March 2018.

Responding to questions from the German daily, Boye, who had already denounced the gravity of Aguirre's appearance on television, reiterated that the judge has already "very clearly expressed his opinion on Puigdemont". "It's complicated to fight against something that never happened," says Boye, referring to the allegations of the Russian plot linked to the independence process. Faced with the question "Is it an invention that Putin's government wanted to support the independence of Catalonia with 10,000 soldiers and that it supposedly wanted to contribute up to 500,000 million euros, the president's lawyer is clear: "We only have to try and imagine it in real life. How, for example, is it envisaged that 10,000 Russian soldiers could arrive in Catalonia through NATO territory without this causing a Third World War?", he questions, while mocking the judge's inventions: "Putin allegedly informed Puigdemont about the invasion of Ukraine. This already shows that these are crazy fantasies."

"Fighting for an amnesty", beyond Puigdemont

The German newspaper notes that the latest decisions of the judge in the Volhov case coincide with the legislative processing of the amnesty law called for by the pro-independence parties, which Pedro Sánchez accepted in exchange for support from Catalan MPs to allow him to form a new government. However, Puigdemont's party Together for Catalonia (Junts) decided to halt the bill two weeks ago, asserting that it was not solid enough and would leave unprotected some of the independence activists who had faced judicial pursuit. In this regard, the journalist points out that the current text does not protect anyone who might be charged with treason or terrorism and Boye makes it clear that all of this is not a coincidence: "First they tried to accuse him of rebellion, then it was terrorism and now they even say that the president was a spy. What will come next?" asks the lawyer, who recalls that Puigdemont was the leader of a political party and of the pro-independence movement, behind which there are "millions of Catalans". "Will this harm the application of the law to Puigdemont? We don't know. But we will continue to fight for an amnesty that will not only affect them, but hundreds of other people", he concluded.