The Council of Ministers approves the pardons for the ‘procés’ prisoners



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Pedro Sánchez has assured that with the pardons they are not being asked to change or renounce their ideas, but to defend them within the framework of legality.


Pedro Sanchez

The advice of Ministers of the Government of Spain has approved this Tuesday the pardons for the nine pro-independence politicians convicted for sedition and embezzlement in the ‘process’, after almost four and a half hours of deliberation, as reported by the Secretary of State for Communication.

Specifically, the pardon files prepared by the Ministry of Justice contemplate the termination of prison sentences what remains for them to meet Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart, Carme Forcadell, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Dolors Bassa, Raül Romeva and Quim Forn, and sets a period of between three and six years that conditions forgiveness on not repeating the crime.

In addition, the Government of Spain has opted for a partial pardon for the prisoners of 1-O that only exempts them from the jail sentence, so all will remain disabled during the same time for which they were sentenced to prison.

The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, has assured this Tuesday that with the pardons approved for the independence leaders, they are not being asked to change or give up their ideas, but if to defend them within the framework of legality.

Sánchez has launched that message in his institutional statement in the Moncloa Palace after the meeting of the Council of Ministers that has approved pardons for the imprisoned Catalan leaders who were convicted for their role in the referendum held in 2017.

The head of the Spanish Executive has insisted on the “public utility” of pardons and has been convinced that, with them, “there is a way” for coexistence.

The measure of grace has emphasized that it does not require that those who benefit from it change their ideas.

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“We do not expect such a thing. In fact, the imprisoned people were never punished for their ideas, but for their acts contrary to democratic legality,” he added.

Along these lines, he has stated that a strong democracy like the Spanish one does not ask anyone to renounce their ideas, but demands that all ideas be defended within the framework of legality.

Sánchez announced this Monday in Barcelona that the pardons would be approved on this day and justified them as necessary for coexistence. A decision “of public utility” that he trusted will change history and will add millions of people to reconciliation.

Extinguish jail sentences

The pardon files that the Ministry of Justice has raised to the Council of Ministers contemplate the extinction of the prison sentences that remain for serving the nine convicted of sedition and embezzlement in the procés’ independence in Catalonia and sets a period of security between 3 and six years that conditions the pardon to not repeat the crime.

The proposal, as advanced by Cadena Ser and confirmed by Europa Press, thus estimates nine of the twelve requests for pardon while those of the three convicted of disobedience are rejected, Meritxell Borrás, Santi Vila and Carles Mundó, who have already paid the fines that were imposed on them and extinguished their criminal responsibility, at the end of the disqualification penalties that were imposed on them.

According to the aforementioned information, the nine files approved collect the background of the prisoners and their behavior during the sentence, the legal aspects and the motivation of the measure.

Regarding the motivations, it affects one of the three aspects contemplated in the Pardon Law, that of public utility, rejecting reasons of justice and equity.

In this sense, according to the same sources, the scenario in Catalonia is assessed if the pardon were not granted and it is concluded that the grace measure entails benefits because it helps to shore up coexistence and harmony, also preventing the prisoners of the ‘procés’ from becoming present themselves to society as martyrs.

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Between five and nine years of pending sentence

The 1-O inmates sentenced by the Supreme Court for crimes of sedition and embezzlement received a pardon from the Government on Tuesday, after three and a half years incarcerated and still having between five and nine years pending to serve in prison until the sentence is settled.

The Supreme Court (TS) handed down the sentence in October 2019 and imposed sentences of between nine and thirteen years in prison, but the promoters of the 1-O convicted had already taken between one and two years in provisional prison: some were released during Some months and others have been incarcerated since autumn 2017, leaving only with prison permits or brief periods of semi-release.

As with all prisoners, the time they spent in prison before the court handed down a sentence has already been counted as part of the sentence.

The president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, was given the highest sentence in the sentence, with 13 years in prison for sedition and embezzlement, so he still had nine years and four months of sentence to serve, which would have ended in 2030.

Former councilors Raül Romeva, Jordi Turull and Dolors Bassa were sentenced to 12 years in prison, so they still had eight more pending, taking into account that they already spent a year and seven months in preventive detention before the Supreme Court’s sentence.

For her part, the former president of the Parliament Carme Forcadell, sentenced to 11 and a half years for sedition, also had about eight years of sentence pending, which she would have served in 2029.

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Former councilors Quim Forn and Josep Rull, sentenced to 10 and a half years, had about seven years left to serve their entire sentence, while Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, with the lowest sentences of the sentence – nine years each – receive the pardon being close to serving half the sentence, with just over five years to serve.


The pardons that the Government has approved this Tuesday extinguish the prison sentence that each one had to serve, but keeps them disabled.

In cases of partial pardon, the law that regulates pardons stipulates that the withdrawal of the penalty does not include disqualification from public office, except if the Government explicitly adds it when granting it, and the total pardon is reserved for “reasons of justice, equity or public utility.”

However, the Government has not opted for this option and the pardons to the inmates of October 1 only exempt them from jail time, so they will all remain disqualified for the same time for which they were sentenced to prison.

Do not relapse

The pardons also set a security period, between three and six years, in which they cannot repeat the crime.

In parallel, Cuixart, Rull and Turull have already appealed their conviction before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) alleging violation of fundamental rights, and predictably the rest of the prisoners of 1-O will do the same when the Constitutional Court (TC) pronounce on your appeals: so far, you have knocked down all those you have resolved, with the dissenting votes of two magistrates.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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