Former ministers Mundó, Borràs and Vila sentenced to 1 year and 8 months' disqualification from public office for disobedienceThe Supreme Court has likewise sentenced them to a 10-month fine of 200 Euros daily
Josep Maria Camps
The Supreme Court sentenced former minister Carles Mundó, Meritxell Borràs and Santi Vila to 1 year and 8 months in prison for the crime of disobedience. The former ministers have also been sentenced to a 10-month fine each for the daily amount of 200 Euros, for a total of 60,000 Euros.
In the sentence, it is said of Mundó, Borràs and Vila that "The three accused disobeyed Constitutional Court orders. All three were aware that it was their duty to heed its injunctions, and they stubbornly ignored what was ordered to them.
Between 24 years and a fine
The State Attorney General and the Government Attorney's Office were asking for the same sentence for all three: 7 years for misuse of public funds and disobedience, with an added 30,000 Euros fine requested by the State Attorney General.
The popular prosecution exerted by far-right party Vox was asking for 24 years in prison and a 108,000 Euro fine for all three for the crimes of misuse of public funds, disobedience and criminal organisation.
By late May, however, the party dropped the charge of misuse of public funds and criminal organisation against Santi Vila, and only asked for a fine for disobedience.
Mundó and the prosecutor's "lies"
Former minister of Justice Carles Mundó stated during the trial that, when he signed the decree calling the referendum on 1-O, he was convinced that it was not a crime.
He added that, after receiving the warning from the Constitutional Court banning said referendum on 15 September 2017, he did not adopt any decisions to facilitate it.
For this reason, he refused the accusations of disobedience and misuse of public funds, as his defence counsel, Josep Riba, repeated at the end of the trial.
Carles Mundó's defence counsel, Josep Riba, giving a statement during the public hearing in the Supreme Court
During questioning by prosecutor Javier Zaragoza, Mundó complained about some statements he made such as that, for example, he was the government's "legal counsel".
Zaragoza also asked him about tweets and other facts the former minister refused to comment on because they were unrelated to the crimes he was accused of.
Days later, Mundó submitted a written complaint to the court in which he denounced that the prosecutor had lied during questioning.
The purpose of 1-O: "To reach an agreement with the Spanish government"
In her statement before the court, former Minister of the Interior Meritxell Borràs denied that there was any public funding from her ministry for 1-O.
She also stated that she did and stated that what her government wanted was to "reach an agreement with the Spanish government".
At the end of the trial, her defence counsel, Judit Gené, stated that the accusations against Borràs were solely based on "gratuitous statements".
According to Gené, they were unable to prove any expenses by the Ministry of the Interior for
"Post-modern misuse of public funds"
Retaking a joke by other attorneys on the fact that the accused were being charged with "post-modern rebellion", Gené also said that the misuse of public funds had been "post-modern".
The defence counsel added that both the State Attorney General and the Government Attorney's Office had acted with excessive "accusatory zeal" and "bias".
1-O, "a great political mobilisation"
Former Minister of Entrepreneurship and knowledge Santi Vila stated before the Supreme Court that, when the Constitutional Court forbade the 1-O referendum it ceased to be a referendum.
Vila described it as a "great political mobilisation" and he stated that this was the opinion of most members of the Carles Puigdemont government.
The former minister added that, after 1-O, he made efforts to find a solution to avoid conflict, but that he was unsuccessful.
Vila concluded that "we could all have been more responsible", referring to the Catalan and Spanish governments.
Joan Segarra, the defence counsel of Santi Vila, giving a statement in the Catalan Independence Trial in the Supreme Court
"He complied with the law"
At the end of the trial, Vila's defence counsel, Joan Segarra, asked for an acquittal because, according to him, he "complied with the law" at all times.
In this regard, Segarra defended that Vila did not commit disobedience or misuse of public funds, and that no premises under the responsibility of his ministry were ceded for 1-O.
Former ministers on bail
Unlike the rest of the accused, Mundó, Borràs and Vila are not on remand: they were only jailed for a brief period of time in 2017 on the order of National Court magistrate Carmen Lamela.
Carles Mundó entered Estremera prison on 2 November and left on 4 December after having paid the 100,000 Euro bail set by Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena.
The same happened to Borràs, who was in Alcalá-Meco prison from 2 November to 4 December 2017 and was subsequently released.
Vila, on the other hand, only spent one night in prison, on 2 November 2017, and was released the following day after having paid a 50,000 Euro bail. He was the only former member of the government Lamela did not imprison without bail.
- Catalan independence trial