Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez sentenced to 9 years' prison for seditionThe sentence states that they put the organisations at the service of the manoeuvre for political pressure thought up by the rest of the accused
Josep Maria Camps
The Supreme Court has condemned the leaders of ANC and Òmnium in Autumn 2017, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, to 9 years in prison and 9 years of disqualification from public office for the crime of sedition.
With regard to 20 September, the sentence criticizes the Mossos' operation in front of the Economy building: it states that it was limited and that the only reinforcements were the mediation teams in front of the 40,000 demonstrators; moreover, the safety perimteter requested by the judiciary committee requested was not established, leading to "significant destruction" to the 7 Guardia Civil patrol cars.
The sentence condemns Jordi Cuixart to 9 years' prison and disqualification from public office.
The sentence deams the leaders of Òmnium and Assamblea put their organisations at the service of the political pressure manoeuvre designed by the rest of the accused.
The Court deems that Jordi Cuixart was not making symbolic proclamations and that he was also willing to materially oppose the actions of law enforcement agencies and the courts.
The sentence argues that Cuixart places his personal interpretation of fundamental rights above the Constitutional Court and that it should submit to his interpretation in the event of any discrepancy.
According to the sentence:
"Should this attitude be accepted and generalised it would lead to chaos. It would imply suicide and self-destruction for the rule of law."
It likewise adds that "What happened on 1 October was not a mere demonstration or act of protest. Should it have been so, there would have been no reaction from the law. It was a riotous uprising incited by the accused, among other people, to render a number of legal decisions by the Constitutional Court null and void."
The sentence also states that Cuixart does not deny, conceal or hide his responsibility and that he stated his will to maintain this behaviour by saying "ho tornarem a fer" [we will do it again].
Missatge des de la presó: Jordi Cuixart (@jcuixart) October 14, 2019
La resposta a la sentència, reincidència #HoTornaremAFer Amnistia, Democràcia i Autodeterminació.
Message from prison:
As an answer to the sentence, repeat offence #HoTornaremAFer Amnesty, Democracy and Self-determination.
Jordi Sánchez sentenced to 9 years in prison and disqualification from public office for the crime of sedition.
The court has deemed it proved that the attitude of ANC president Jordi Sánchez was none other than to hinder and obstruct court actions, that he focused on hindering and hampering it and on disparaging the actions of the judiciary committee and the Guardia Civil.
It also condemned him for having conspired with political leaders to hold the referendum that was ruled illegal by the Constitutional Court and for organising the 1 October mobilisations which according to the ruling prevented the fulfilment of court orders from the Constitutional Court and the High Court of Justice of Catalonia.
Even though the sentence extensively describes the actions of Jordi Sánchez in the 20S demonstration and criticises the statements and proclamations both he and Cuixart made, the Court states that it falls under the rights to freedom of expression and demonstration.
It therefore condemns him for his attitude which led to the obstruction of court and police actions both on 20S and 1-O.
When informed of the sentence, Jordi Sánchez tweeted "Injustice":
INJUSTÍCIA!!! pic.twitter.com/HyQ99lQzMy Jordi Sànchez (@jordialapreso) October 14, 2019
Minutes later, in a second message, he wanted to display optimism by stating that "if we persevere, Catalonia will be independent"
9 anys de presó no acabaran amb el meu optimisme. Catalunya serà independent si persistim. Manifestem-nos sense por, avancem decidits des de la noviolència cap a la llibertat. Gràcies per no defallir. Guanyarem! pic.twitter.com/yioaW9Lnlq Jordi Sànchez (@jordialapreso) October 14, 2019
9 years in prison will not put an end to my optimism. Catalonia will be independent if we persevere. Let us demonstrate without fear, let us advance resolute from nonviolence towards freedom. Thank you for not losing strength. We will triumph
The ANC has called a press conference at plaça dels Àngels, in Barcelona, at midday after the 1-O sentence was made public.
"Two years later, and after the publication of a guilty verdict, the current secretary of the ANC, along with the two previous secretaries, will carry out a joint press conference to convey the assessment and position of the entity as well as to reaffirm its political objective, independence."
Requests from 8 to 52 years
La principal acusació, la de la Fiscalia, demanava 17 anys de presó per a tots dos pel delicte de rebel·lió, mentre que l'Advocacia de l'Estat
The main party to the prosecution, the State Attorney General's Office, asked for 17 years in jail for both of them on the charge of rebellion, the Government Attorney's Office asked for 8 on the charge of sedition.
As with the rest, the popular prosecution exerted by far-right party Vox asked for the longest sentence: 52 years on the charges of rebellion and criminal organisation.
The parties to the prosecution deemed their actions to have allowed "actions against legitimate court decisions" with regard to the events of 20S.
They also said that they promoted "an intense and violent citizen mobilisation" and that they led people to believe that "the proclamation of the republic was perfectly viable".
Cuixart: "Denouncing the attack on freedoms"
In his statement before the court, Cuixart stated that his priority in the trial was not to avoid prison, but rather to "denounce the attack on freedoms" the trial implied, according to him.
As with Oriol Junqueras and Jordi Sànchez, he stated that he deemed himself to be "a political prisoner", that he did not make any calls on 20S and that the mobilisations on that day were peaceful.
He also stated that the so-called "roadmap" of March 2015, which the parties to the prosecution described as a "strategic document" was nothing of the sort, but rather "a statement of intent".
In her closing statements his defence counsel, Marina Roig, stated that the parties to the prosecution had been criminalising fundamental rights such as that to meetings and demonstrations.
In this regard, she argued that the Spanish constitution "cannot be understood without the mobilisations of the seventies".
With regard to 20S, she explained that court actions had not been impeded and that the parties to the prosecution exaggerated the difficulties in communication between the Mossos and the Guardia Civil to argue the contrary.
Sànchez and 20S
On the other hand, in his statement before the court, Jordi Sànchez denied that there was "a permanent attempt of assault" against the Economy building on 20S.
He also denied that he was in charge of security; rather, he was only in charge of the security service of the ANC, and he complained that "perfectly peaceful mobilisations" were being criminalised.
The defence counsel of Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Pina, giving a statement in a hearing of the Catalan independence trial before the Supreme Court
His defence counsel who is also in charge of the defence of Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, Jordi Pina, challenged the notion that what took place on 20S and Fall 2017 were "uprisings" of a rebellious or seditious nature, but rather mere "protests and demonstrations".
Sànchez and Cuixart are the pro-independence leaders who have been on remand the longest: practically 2 years, since 16 october 2017, when they went to give statement before the National Court.
Cuixart and Sànchez, two backgrounds
The leaders of Òmnium and ANC on 1-O were the first accused to enter jail, on 16 October 2017, where they have spent practically 2 years, but their personal backgrounds are quite different.
Whereas Jordi Cuixart has remained president of the entity he then led, shortly after entering prison Jordi Sànchez relinquished his position to enter politics.
It happened exactly one month afterwards, on 16 November, when it was made public that the former ANC leader would be second after Carles Puigdemont on the JxCat list for Barcelona in the 21D elections called by Mariano Rajoy.
Sànchez was not only made a member of Parliament, he also became a candidate for the Catalan presidency, which he would have held if magistrate Pablo Llarena had given him permission to go.
However, the Supreme Court magistrate alleged a "risk of repeat offence" to deny him permission. This was in March 2018, a few days before Llarena sent Forcadell, Bassa, Romeva, Rull and Turull back to prison on remand.
Since then, Sànchez has continued to run for election for JxCat, and he held a hunger strike with his fellow party members to protest that the Constitutional Court did not process their appeals.
That was in December 2018, and he and Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn stopped their hunger strike shortly before Christmas.
Sànchez ran as a candidate for JxCat again in the 28A general election, as the head of the list for Barcelona, and he was even able to hold a campaign press conference from prison.
He was able to take possession of his seat in the Spanish Parliament, but he was suspended shortly afterwards. In June Sànchez, along with Rull and Turull, asked MPs to abstain to allow Pedro Sánchez to take office, but the party disregarded his advice.
For the time being, Sànchez is once again at the head of the JxCat list for Barcelona in the repeat 10N general election, whereas Forn, Rull and Turull will top the lists for Girona, Tarragona and Lleida, respectively.
Cuixart, the most belligerent defence
Jordi Cuixart, on the other hand, has stayed away from the political arena over the course of these two years and, in June 2018, the Òmnium board re-elected him as president.
After admitting before judge Pablo Llarena that he intended to renounce the path of unilateral action to achieve independence in January 2018, Cuixart decided to switch to a much more belligerent strategy.
For instance, his legal team filed for the disqualification of the 7 members of the court presided by Manuel Marchena that was to judge him and the rest of the accused in November 2018.
The selection of witnesses requested by his attorneys also irritated the court, which directly told journalists of the "profound discomfort" caused by their "behaviour", which they described as "intolerable".
In September, Cuixart was able to leave prison to meet his second son with his partner, Txell Bonet. The Supreme Court only gave him 6 hours' leave for this visit.