Biased, self-interested, arbitrary, manifestly illegal. The appeal lodged by Carles Puigdemont’s defence, against the Court of Accounts’ decision rejecting the guarantees to cover the bail of former Catalan government officials, is highly critical of the Spanish auditing tribunal's investigating delegate, Esperanza García. Moreover, it warns that the delegate's responsibility for her actions will be the subject of a claim in another jurisdiction.
Puigdemont's defence, which asks the Court of Accounts to revoke García's decision to reject the guarantees, warns that "all the reflection - so to speak - embodied in the resolution is unfounded" and causes "very serious defencelessness" to those people who, in compliance with the law, provided these guarantees.
The appeal, signed by lawyer Gonzalo Boye, blames the delegate for a manifestly arbitrary reading, which contrary to the law and biased with regard to the decree that created the Complementary Risk Fund, which covers the bail of the government officials. As well, it accuses the investigator of ignoring the parts of the text that do not interest her.
Given the statements of the investigating delegate to the effect that the Complementary Risk Fund does not expressly include "liability for malicious actions or gross negligence", the appeal remarks that the purpose of the decree is to protect public workers who, in the exercise of their office, find their personal assets affected by legal procedures that have not been concluded in a final court decision, as is the case here.
Contradicts current law
As the Catalan government's lawyers have also stated in their own appeal against the ruling, Puigdemont's defence lawyers are "highly" surprised that the Court gives prominence to the attribution of guilt to "fit a resolution that can only be classified as arbitrary, illegal and a source of defencelessness since it openly contradicts current laws”.
The defence submission stresses that the guarantees are valid and legal, and denounces that the delegate arbitrarily and explicitly disobeys their content, although they are included in a regulation which has the status of a autonomous community law.
It states that behind the delegate's report there is an attempt to impoverish, disregarding both the rules and the legal procedures which apply, and that, exceeding its capabilities, she has acted openly contrary to law.
Seeking media projection
And beyond that, the text also accuses the investigator of bypassing the legal procedure she is obliged to follow if she considered the guarantees to be invalid, and attributes this to “obvious” motivations: “It would have slowed down the procedure and prevented the media activity that was generated by the publication of the resolution which is appealed herein”.
The appeal denounces that this arbitrary resolution is not an isolated action, but one that has been followed in a "systematic" way in the tribunal's current procedure, and that "cannot and should not be permitted if we want to continue moving within the framework of a democratic state under rule of law”, and as a consequence it announces actions against the ruling in other jurisdictions.
Finally, the appeal complains that the delegate not only improperly and illegally rejects the guarantees that were submitted within "the very short period granted" but also concludes that the period has passed and the seizure of assets is to proceed.
Puigdemont's defence communicates its surprise at the level reached by the delegate and warns that her competence, according to the rules of the Court of Accounts, does not include the ability to order asset seizures under all circumstances, but rather, only when the amounts claimed have not been guaranteed, an assurance that in the present case was made, it stresses, so the tribunal should have resorted to another procedure of the Court of Accounts' law.
"In any case, it seems clear that actioning the seizure of property and rights of individuals while still deciding on the validity of the guarantees provided necessarily involves the generation of irreparable damages when, as in this case, the amounts requested are very high", concludes the Puigdemont appeal.