Read in Catalan

Carlos Ramos, the High Court of Catalonia (TSJC) new examining judge in the Institute of Catalan Letters (ILC) case, rejected the appeal by Laura Borràs, speaker of the Catalan Parliament, against the decision made on June 22nd by Judge Jordi Seguí to prosecute her as director of the ILC. Seguí ended his service commission at the TSJC on July 1st and, through the appointment system, was replaced by Ramos. Borràs' lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, challenged Ramos for lack of impartiality, because the PSC's tripartite government supported his appointment to the TSJC in 2004. Ramos rejected it and maintains that this challenge, already resolved in other proceedings two years ago, is "abuse of law and procedural fraud".

The TSJC examining judge prosecuted Laura Borràs for the crimes of misappropriation, fraud, prevarication and forgery. Last Thursday, the prosecutor's office reduced it to two crimes: persistent prevarication and two counts of forgery, with a persistent crime of forgery for a specific end. He asks for 6 years in prison and a 21-year ban from public office for awarding 18 contracts from the Institute's website to her friend Isaías Herrero, for whom the prosecution asks the same sentences. The examining magistrate's decision can now be appealed to the TSJC, although the judge may not wait to open the hearing against Borràs, Herrero, and his friend, Andreu Pujol, for whom the prosecution is asking for three years in prison.

Borràs' appeals and the consultation of the Spanish Constitutional Court

Borràs' lawyers, Gonzalo Boye and Isabel Elbal, requested that the speaker of the Catalan Parliament and Junts be tried by a jury court, as demanded by the crime of misappropriation, and that if that was not done, to consult the competences of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). The examining judge argues that since she is finally not accused of misappropriation, there is no appeal to be resolved, and considers that the consultation of the TC has not been sufficiently justified. The judge does not mention the appeal by Roger Espar, the ILC civil servant, against his prosecution, given that, in the end, the prosecution has withdrawn the accusation against him.

Magistrate Ramos is very categorical about Borras' lawyer's challenge against him, because he states it was already resolved in prior proceedings, such as the trial of Catalan president Quim Torra and the Catalan Parliament's Bureau, in which the TSJC accepted to remove its president, Jesús Maria Barrientos. "Given its absolute unfeasibility, which is known by the appellant and her lawyers, its submission in this procedure can only be considered as misuse of legal rights and procedural fraud, aimed at removing the judge determined by law and delaying proceedings, with the aim of delaying the decision to be adopted on the possibility of a hearing". Nevertheless, Ramos insists that Borràs' presumption of innocence remains intact.