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It has not been necessary this Tuesday evening to ask the president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, for his opinion on the significance of the sentence for the suspended speaker of Parliament, Laura Borràs. "The sentence and the actions that were the subjects of the trial have no type of connection or relationship with the political and judicial repression suffered by political representatives linked to the independence movement because of their commitment to the 1st October referendum", he stated bluntly when making a press appearance at the doors of the MNAC museum in Barcelona to give an assessment of Borràs's conviction.


The Catalan High Court (TSJC) convicted the suspended speaker of Parliament and party president of Junts to serve 4 and a half years in prison, be banned from public office for 13 years and to pay a fine of 36,000 euros after finding her to have committed a crime of abuse of authority and another of document falsification over her management as director of the Institute of Catalan Letters (ILC), between 2013 and 2017. The court also proposed that the Spanish government should pardon her and reduce her sentence to two years so that she would not have to serve time in prison.

Aragonès described as "very serious" the proven facts of the judgment on the fragmentation of contracts, which is an "assault" in the field of public contracting decisions and underlined the commitment to guarantee that actions like these -"proven in the judgment", he repeatedly insisted - do not happen again.

Call to preserve the institutions

The president asserted to Borràs that her legitimate defence strategy "should in no case be seeking protection in a cause such as the independence of Catalonia, in order to build a country that is free and clean of corruption". He stressed that this process is affecting the speakership of the country's second highest institution - the Parliament - and expressed the desire that "the parliamentary parties will soon find formulas so that the chamber can function in all its areas of responsibility with full functions, the speakership too".

In this regard, he called for diligent efforts to disassociate the Catalan chamber from this situation and warned that "the institutions cannot be left hanging on a defence that is of a personal nature, not linked to the 1st October". "Institutions are above all people, the speakership of Parliament, and likewise the leadership of the Generalitat", he replied while calling on "everyone to take the most appropriate decisions to preserve the honour and good functioning of the institutions".

Regarding the prison sentence, he recalled that the court itself had indicated the path of a pardon to prevent Borràs from serving time in prison and emphasized that "no one wants people of this importance to end up in prison for actions like these".