The defence teams representing five of the convicted pro-independence Catalan leaders - Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa and Carles Mundó - will not respond to the request to make a submission on their pardons made by the Spanish Supreme Court. This Wednesday the court told all 12 convicted leaders - the nine political prisoners and the three others convicted but not jailed - that they had five days to present arguments that they deem appropriate with regard to their proposed pardons.
This has been reported by Europa Press based on sources in the prisoners' defence teams. From ERC - the political party which these five have represented - sources have told ElNacional.cat that they continue to call for an amnesty, rather than a pardon, because they consider that holding a referendum is not a crime. The pro-independence leaders “will not apologize,” these sources say, arguing that what the 2017 Catalan referendum did was fulfill a democratic mandate. A lawyer for the ERC defendants argues that the consideration of such submissions is not provided for in the pardon law, and for this reason they have no plans to respond to it.
Junqueras, Bassa, Romeva and Forcadell say that "this is the first time that the Supreme Court has made a request of this nature" and that, "if it does so now, it is for purely political reasons."
The jailed ERC politicians argue that they will not respond to the court because "the law does not provide for this and because it is not mandatory."
Finally, they recall that "the solution to the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain must be collective and must involve an amnesty" for all of those who face retaliation, a total of more than 3,000 people across Catalonia.
The lawyer representing Carlos Mundó, convicted for disobedience, told Europa Press that they are acting in accordance with the passive response that they have maintained to the pardon requests up till now.
None of the prisoners will make submissions
After lawyer Jordi Pina met with prisoners Josep Rull, Jordi Turull and Jordi Sànchez today in Lledoners prison, they also have decided not to present a response to the Supreme Court's request. Quim Forn has made the same decision.
For his part, the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, has already spoken out on the issue, rejecting the possibility of receiving a pardon. "We will not accept any humiliation. Neither repentance nor pardon," he said.
Thus, none of the nine imprisoned Catalan leaders will make a submission in response to the court.