The Court of Accounts is reorganized to close the “war of guarantees” | Spain

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The internal organization of the renewed Court of Accounts is being finalized these days with modifications of its structure, dominated until now by the conservative sector. From the outset, a court with a progressive majority is going to decide on the guarantees of the Generalitat in favor of its 34 former high-ranking officials and officials who have been demanded 5.4 million euros for undue expenses in the foreign promotion of the process. The same three magistrates, all of them new to the institution, will have the last word regarding the sentence that culminates this process: Rosario García Álvarez and Diego Íñiguez, proposed by the PSOE, and Rebeca Laliga, appointed at the initiative of the PP.

The resolution on the Generalitat’s proposal to offer the bail for those investigated has remained on the table with the renewal of the Court of Accounts, but the new team at the institution wants to close this “war of guarantees” as soon as possible. A team that at its top, the government commission, will be made up of three women, the president, Enriqueta Chicano; the head of the Prosecution Section, Rebeca Laliga, and that of the Inspection Section, Dolores Genaro.

In parallel, Magistrate Margarita Mariscal de Gante, one of the conservative advisers who ended their term this Thursday, has issued an order that begins the jurisdictional phase of the case. Until now, what has been instructed in order to find out if there was a misuse of funds from the Generalitat to dedicate them to promoting independence plans abroad forms an administrative file, which ended with the provisional liquidation act. This document is the one that requires the aforementioned 5.4 million euros from those investigated, and gives way to the beginning of a second phase, of a judicial nature, which is the one opened by the order of Marshal of Ghent two days before the taking of possession of the new directors. What the next magistrate has done would ultimately be to send the aforementioned former high-ranking officials of the Generalitat to trial. The hearing, in any case, will be the end of a series of proceedings and proceedings that can last months, if not years.

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The beginning of this new phase, in which the defenses will already have many more possibilities to intervene, is not incompatible with the fact that this process is still pending a final resolution on the validity or not of the guarantees of the Generalitat. Those investigated have already made effective, through economic contributions or seizure of assets, the amount that is claimed from them jointly and severally.

However, if it is accepted that the Catalan administration itself asserts its payment guarantee – as a precautionary measure, in case a conviction is handed down in due course – the contributions already formalized as a guarantee before the Court of Auditors may be recovered by the interested. This would imply the return of the money entered and the lifting of the agreed embargoes. For the pro-independence leaders investigated – among them, former presidents Carles Puigdemont and Artur Mas, former vice-president Oriol Junqueras and former councilors Andreu Mas-Colell and Raül Romeva – this decision would mean freeing themselves from the bonds and the possibility of not worrying about the amount that they are given. claims, at least until a final sentence is issued.

The restructuring of the Court of Accounts will also imply that the until now chief prosecutor in this institution, Miguel Ángel Torres, who changes that position to that of counselor, will finally take over the tasks of auditing the municipalities. At first, Torres, appointed at the proposal of the PP, was to succeed Margarita Mariscal de Gante in the Prosecution Section. But this option has ended up being discarded, because the new counselor would have had to start his term by refraining from participating in the procedure against the pro-independence leaders.

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The reason for this abstention – which he himself had already announced – is that Torres participated as an accusation during the investigation of the facts, together with the State’s lawyer, Rafael García Monteys, who will now withdraw from the case. The cause of this decision has to do with the fact that the mission of the State Bar consists of defending the interests of the damaged administration, which in this case is not the central one, but the regional one, whose representation corresponds to the Generalitat.

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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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