The former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of Catalonia Meritxell Serret has voluntarily appeared this Thursday in the Supreme Court, accompanied by her lawyer Iñigo Iruin, after having remained exiled in Belgium since October 2017. After citing her for the next April 8 to be questioned, has been released.
Serret was prosecuted in the criminal case opened against the people who organized the independence referendum in Catalonia. The investigated woman has appeared in order to make herself available to the Court and regularize her procedural situation.
In the release order, the obligations for Serret to designate the address and telephone where it can be located, and to appear before this judicial body as many times as it is called are agreed, with the warning that any breach of the obligations would entail the modification of his personal situation.
Counselor in the Government of Carles Puigdemont until his dismissal on October 28, 2017 in application of article 155 of the Constitution, Serret was prosecuted by the crimes of embezzlement of public funds and disobedience.
However, since until now it has not been attributed that his department made concrete payments for the organization of the 1-O referendum, and since the defendants who were tried in the same situation were convicted of a crime of disobedience and acquitted of the crime embezzlement, no European Arrest Warrant had been issued against her after the judgment of October 14, 2019.
There was, however, a Spanish arrest warrant to receive a statement and continue the proceedings against her. The penalty provided for the crime of disobedience is a fine and disqualification for employment or public office of up to two years.
The judge of Chamber II Pablo Llarena, instructor of the case of the process, has agreed to provisional release of Meritxell Serret Aleu, “the search and arrest order on her and the situation of rebellion of the same having been made voluntarily today at the disposal of the Supreme Court for the continuation of the proceedings in accordance with the law”.
Judge Llarena has summoned Serret, for the next April 8 at 11:00 hours for the practice of the investigatory statement, summoned by the Public Prosecutor and other parties.
Serret: “It is the correct decision, and the logical step”
From ERC they have indicated that Serret, who until recently held the position of delegate of the Generalitat in the EU, hopes to be able to return to Catalonia in the next few hours, because no Euro arrest warrant weighs on her even though she is still accused of embezzlement and disobedience.
In a statement, Serret affirms that he is aware that his return involves “risks” although, he says, “the decision was well considered.”
Consider, in this sense, that “is the right decision, and the logical step“in his” fight to help put an end to the repression against the independence movement by the Spanish State. “
He adds that, by assuming these risks, he is “opening the way for all the comrades” who are in the same situation because, although his decision is individual, “it may have political and collective implications” in legal proceedings against other pro-independence activists.
Serret’s intention is “to be able take possession of the deputy certificate“that she obtained in the Catalan elections of 14F as candidate number two of ERC for Lleida, as she wishes”do politics from Catalonia“.
Serret returns to his municipality
The former Minister of Agriculture Meritxell Serret has asked for the return of all the “exiles” to Catalonia after being received in her municipality, Vallfogona de Balaguer (Lleida), by a hundred neighbors, who have applauded her after more than three years of absence since he fled to Brussels.
It has been received by more than a hundred residents, as well as by a delegation from his party, ERC, led by the vice president and candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and by the outgoing president of the Parliament, Roger Torrent.
Visibly moved, Meritxell Serret has affirmed that it was a very special day in her life and that during the almost three and a half years of absence she has lived “very hard moments”, although she remains “the same” as when she left Catalonia to reside in Brussels.
“I continue to want to build the Catalan republic in a shared way,” she specified before confessing that she feels “very lucky” and “happy” to have been able to return to her homeland.
He crossed the border last night through Euskal Herria
Serret crossed the border by road through Euskal Herria last night, in a movement developed in recent days and of which very few people were aware.
Serret’s parents did not know that he would return today, according to the aforementioned sources, since it was an operation carried out “discreetly” because until it reached the Supreme Court there was a risk that the former councilor would be arrested.
Serret made the trip accompanied and met her new lawyer, Iñigo Iruin, once she arrived in Madrid before voluntarily appearing before the Supreme Court.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.