Governing pro-independence party the Republican Left (ERC) will not accompany Laura Borràs, the suspended speaker of the Catalan Parliament and president of the other major pro-independence party, Together for Catalonia (Junts), at the start of her trial this Friday at the Catalan High Court (TSJC) overalleged contractual irrregularities when she directed the Institute of Catalan Letters. The Republicans assert that this is not a case linked to her activity as a pro-independence politician, but to "malpractice", to "poor management of public resources" linked to her previous responsibilities. "We cannot allow cases of corruption to be reproduced, to trivialize them or to pretend that they are what they are not." Republican sources note that this is the same position they took when they suspended her rights and duties as a Catalan MP. Meanwhile, Junts is facilitating the presence of supporters for their president outside the court, with buses arriving from various parts of Catalonia.
Asked whether she would be present or not at the mobilization of support for Laura Borràs, the ERC spokesperson and deputy general secretary Marta Vilalta referred to what her party has said in the past: "We are talking about a person accused of crimes of abuse of authority and document falsification, due to issues of mismanagement when she directed the Institute of Catalan Letters". She added that "this has nothing to do with the independence referendum issue". And she underscored her statement: "We will always be highly committed in the fight against corruption. We will not take part in a show of support in a trial for abuse of authority and document falsification. We cannot allow cases of corruption to be reproduced, trivialized or pretend that they are something that they are not."
The Republicans recalls that last July, with the votes of ERC itself, the Catalan Socialists and the CUP, the procedural Bureau of the Parliament of Catalonia - of which Borràs herself had been head in her role as speaker - agreed to suspend her as an MP after she had been sent to trial in the case. The view they expressed today is a reiteration of that same position, they said.
Junts calls for support
The general secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, sent a letter to party members inviting them to the rally that will be held this Friday 10th at 9:30am in front of the High Court of Catalonia, in Passeig Lluís Companys, in support of the suspended speaker, coinciding with the start of her trial. In the letter Turull stated that the trial, due to an alleged fragmentation of contracts, is actually "a new episode of political persecution of the independence movement through the repression of its leaders".
"For all these years we have seen how the Spanish judiciary has shown great political activism in the defence of the unity of Spain and its will to teach lessons, more than its will to work in the service of justice. Precisely for this reason we cannot fail to denounce these attacks, which violate fundamental rights and put at risk the very foundations of all democracy," added the Junts leader.