The former secretary general and the former senior lawyer of the Parliament, Xavier Muro and Joan Ridao, have explained Wednesday to the judge that the motions on self-determination and the reprobation of the monarchy for which the former president of the House Roger Torrent is investigated were mere “political proclamations” that, in his opinion, did not openly contravene the warnings of the Constitutional Court.
Muro and Ridao have appeared Wednesday as witnesses in the case for disobedience that follows the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) against Torrent and four other former members of the Bureau for having allowed the debate and vote in 2019 of motions on self-determination and to reprove the monarchy.
Unlike previous cases related to the sovereignty process, in which the lawyers became a witness for the prosecution by reaffirming the warnings they made to the Bureau not to develop initiatives vetoed by the Constitutional, this time their testimony has given air to the defenses.
According to legal sources, the investigating magistrate, Maria Eugènia Alegret, has carried the weight of the interrogations, which have lengthened almost four hours, with very detailed questions to know the exact chronology of the investigated facts: Torrent advanced the schedule of the plenary to be able to vote the motion on self-determination and avoid the arrival of the notification of the Constitutional that prevented it.
Muro and Ridao, according to the same sources, have explained in detail the parliamentary procedures and have remarked that the texts under judicial focus were “political proclamations” of “vague” content. For example, the motion reproached the monarchy in a generic way when in previous plenary sessions it had been personalized in Felipe VI. The pro-independence groups thus sought that the texts were not questioned by the Constitutional.
Both jurists – Muro continues as a lawyer of the House, and Ridao now teaches at the University – have reported that they communicated to the Bureau that the processing of the resolution on self-determination could come to The Constitutional Court had “problems” with it, but due to its lack of specificity they did not warn outright of its illegality, so they did not oppose the continuation of its processing.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Torrent and his pro-independence colleagues in the Bureau processed two resolutions in the last legislature in favor of exercising the right to self-determination and to reprove the monarchy despite the warnings of its illegality by the secretary general of the Parliament and knowing that the Constitutional had forbidden it.
In their statements, however, Muro and Ridao have not been as forceful as the prosecutor maintains, and have stated that the situation in which the motions were debated bore no relation to the moments of tension in the House experienced during the procés. Yes, they have made it clear that once the notifications were received none of the motions were published in the Official Gazette of the Parliament.
In fact in one of the motions, they have recalled, the resolution of the Constitutional prohibiting the debate came after the vote, so they could not express any legal warning to the Bureau. The lawyers have corroborated that the email from the Constitutional Court took a long time to reach the electronic mailbox of the Parliament because the notification was voluminous and included abundant scanned documentation.