Jordi Cuixart: “The Spanish Supreme Court cannot continue to violate our rights; it has an obligation to send the case to Luxembourg”
The defence of Òmnium Cultural’s president, Jordi Cuixart, asks the Court of Justice of the European Union to pronounce itself on the case against the Catalan self-determination process before the start of the trial in the Spanish Supreme Court. In particular, it petitions the Supreme Court to consult with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on whether the case against the president of Òmnium Cultural breaches the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in addition to European norms and case law.
In the words of Cuixart, “The Supreme Court cannot continue to violate our rights; it has an obligation to send the case to Luxembourg. They are aware of the fact that European courts are exposing the Spanish judicial narrative. The rejection of this petition will show Spain’s fear of confronting Europe because this trial could never take place in a real European democracy”.
Cuixart’s lawyers request that the consultation is presented before the start of the trial. They argue that the accusation of rebellion does not conform to EU norms, and cite European Union law in order to ask the Court how it’s possible that the same set of actions constitute an exercise of fundamental rights in one EU member state (Germany) while constituting a crime in another. This is the aim of the pretrial question that the European Court, which is specialized in interpreting EU norms and laws, must resolve.
The petition, which has been included as an ancillary in the statement of defense that was presented earlier this week before the Supreme Court, is largely based on the verdict that was returned by the German court of Schleswig-Holstein in July 2018, in which it rejected the extradition of Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, as well as the crimes of sedition and rebellion which are attributed to him. The German court considered the actions of the head of the Catalan government to be a case of freely exercising fundamental political rights in a democratic society. And, according to Jordi Cuixart’s defense lawyers, it is on these very actions that the indictments of the Spanish Public Prosecutor, the Spanish State Attorney, and the far right party VOX base themselves in order to accuse Cuixart of the crimes of sedition and rebellion and therefore demand a prison sentence for him.
Thus, the defence maintains that a pronouncement from the European judiciary is needed before the start of the trial, because the accusations imply the violation of a “long list” of rights that are enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.