Spain's Constitutional Court will not accept future recusals initiated by the Catalan president in exile, Carles Puigdemont. Considering that such recusals of the Junts party MEP are a manoeuvre aimed at blocking and affecting reviews of his case, the Constitutional Court will reject all future attempts by Puigdemont to accuse the constitutional judges of a lack of impartiality. This is what legal sources within the court have informed the Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial.
For now, the challenges to judges made by Puigdemont and other pro-independence politicians have led two of the court's judges, Antonio Narváez and Cándido Conde-Pumpido, to announce their abstention in decisions related to the Catalan independence process, and with this new court movement, they intend to prevent this happening again with other judges. Further recusals could threaten the court's ability to reach a quorum.
This Wednesday, the full session of the Constitutional Court approved the abstention of the former prosecutor and Constitutional Court judge, Conde-Pumpido, in cases related to the Catalan pro-independence prisoners and exiles. The vote comes after the judge presented a writ of abstention in early April on appeals related to the independence process leaders' trial.
Carles Puigdemont's defence was the first to file writs requesting Conde-Pumpido's recusal in the case centred on the 2017 referendum, alleging that he is not "neutral" or "impartial." Later, the lawyer representing former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras and minister Raül Romeva also presented a recusal demand.
Another judge of the Constitutional Court, Antonio Narváez, withdrew earlier from cases on the independence process after several of the convicted leaders denounced statements he had made in a speech describing the 2017 events as a "coup d'etat" . Thus, from eleven currently eligible members of the court, there are now nine judges left to study appeals by the Catalan prisoners and exiles.
In the case of judge Conde-Pumpido, the recusals are based on another speech, given on November 23rd, 2017 in the Congress of Deputies in which he expressed his "concern" about the events that were then taking place in Catalonia .
"I am concerned about the populist use of the comparison between an alleged democratic legitimacy directly emanating from the people and freely interpreted by those who invoke it, and the legality which emanates from a constitution which - this one - has been approved by the majority," he said in his address.
Main image: Catalan president in exile and MEP, Carles Puigdemont. / Europa Press