The trial on charges of disobedience of Joan Josep Nuet, Catalan Parliament bureau member during the 2017 independence push, began on Wednesday in Spain’s Supreme Court in Madrid. At the entrance, Spanish police officers threatened and identified pro-independence MPs who had gathered there to support Nuet . Officers shouted at them, even though they knew they were elected MPs, and threatened them with the Citizen Safety Law, popularly known as the “gag law”.
CUP member of the Spanish Congress, Albert Botran, denounced it: “We were about thirty people and all the time the police has been bothering us with absurd orders, knowing who we were, of course. In the end, they started asking for identifications”. Botran also told VilaWeb that they have been threatened with fines up to 600 euros. “Once we crossed the street to attend the press, the officers told us that we couldn’t be there, only the press. ‘If you’re not press, get out!’ they shouted”, he told.
ERC Senator Laura Castel also showed her credentials to the police but ended up being identified. Police officers kept her ID and she has asked them for their license plate number, amid shouts from the police. Junts MP Josep Lluís Cleries was also there, and he was also shouted at by the officers, although he was not finally identified. “They argued in very bad ways, and even tried to prevent us from making statements to the press”, he explained.
Joan Josep Nuet is accused of disobedience for, according to the public prosecutor, contributing to allow votes on self-determination in the chamber in 2017. Both the attorney general and the solicitor general, representing the Spanish government, request a 20-month disqualification from public office and a €24,000-fine, but no prison. Yet, far-right Vox party, acting as private prosecutor, requests 12 years behind bars for him.
Nuet is very likely to be convicted for disobedience in similar terms requested by the public prosecutor, because that was the sentence for his former colleagues in the bureau in October 2020 – although with a €30,000-fine for each of them.
Lluís Corominas, Anna Simó, Lluís Guinó, and Ramona Barrufet were found guilty of defying orders from Spain’s Constitutional Court for allowing MPs to vote on laws pursuing independence that had been deemed illegal – and the reason Nuet was not included in this trial held in the Catalan high court is that he is MP in Spain’s congress and, therefore, can only be tried by the Supreme Court.