In the Catalan independence trial, former Catalan minister of Justice Carles Mundó stated that he believes the 1 October referendum did not run contrary to the injunctions of the Constitutional Court.
Mundó argued that, after 7 September, the Catalan government did not carry out any actions that ran contrary to these resolutions:
"I believe that the referendum is not in breach of the injunctions [of the Supreme Court] insofar as there are no facts attributable to the Catalan government that explain its participation from that moment onwards."
The former Catalan minister has specified that he acted accordingly from the time he received the warning from the Constitutional Court on 15 September 2017:
"From that moment onwards I did not carry out any actions or dispositions to violate these injunctions."
"Convinced that it was not a crime"
Mundó replied that he and the other members of the Catalan government signed the decree calling for the 1-O referendum in the belief that it was not a crime and he asked for the facts to be taken into account:
"It was a political expression whereby the Catalan government accounted for its commitments before the citizens. It must be considered in that context; moreover, we did so in the belief, with the certainty, the knowledge that we did not find, we were convinced that to sign a call for a referendum was not a crime."
If rules have any value, it is that their effects must be predictable. The certainty that it was not a crime was a significant element."
"The important part is not having signed a decree, but rather, what we did or did not do from that moment onwards."
He also stated that, when the 1-O referendum was called, the law that sustained it had not been suspended by the Constitutional Court:
"The most relevant fact is that both the law and the decree were part of the legal order, because the Parliament had approved them as such. They had not been annulled or even challenged or suspended."
Pina requests that the marathon sitting be adjourned
The questioning of the former Catalan minister of Justice began after eight in the evening on Wednesday, after the questions to Josep Rull, Dolors Bassa and Meritxell Borràs, and they lasted until half past nine in a veritable marathon sitting. Attorney Jordi Pina pointed this out.
By 9 in the evening, Pina, who is the defence counsel for, among others, Jordi Sànchez, intervened to state that the sitting was becoming too protracted and that he did not know if his client, who is to take the stand on Thursday, will be "in top condition".
"Mr Jordi Sànchez will take the stand tomorrow, and the prosecution is going for 17 years in prison for him. I'm not sure. The prisoners get up at 6 AM. They do not take a shower. They leave the cell at 6:45 and go on a 45-minute trip to get here. I do not know if my client will be in top condition. Conditions for him to be so are not being guaranteed."
The presiding magistrate of the Court, justice Marchena, replied that it was "the wish of the court" to "finish as early as possible" as well as to "guarantee the right to trial without undue delays." He also explained that the Mundo's counsel for the defence accepted that his client be questioned on this day.
It is precisely this attorney, Carles Riba, who stated, when his turn arrived, that he apologised because he had thought that the questioning would not drag on for so long.
Finally, tomorrow's sitting, on Thursday, is slated to begin at the usual time, 10 AM, even though, throughout the day, Marchena had said that it would start at 10:30, and he had even been open to call it for 11:00 AM.
Clashes with the prosecutor
The former Catalan minister clashed with prosecutor Javier Zaragoza on several occasions. He reproached, for instance, that the role of "legal advisor" to the Catalan government had been attributed to him. Mundó stated that he received and complied with the notifications of the Constitutional Court on the referendum:
"(Zaragoza) - You are the Catalan minister of Justice, a legal advisor of sorts to the Catalan government...
(Mundó) - That is not the role of the Catalan minister of justice but, well, this is an opinion.
(Zaragoza) - A significant opinion.
(Mundó) - That is your opinion.
(Zaragoza) - Your opinion is important, is it not?
(Mundó) - Like everyone else's."
(Mundó)- You continue to attribute to me an authority I lack... I am in charge of the functions of my Department. What is relevant is to assess if the questions I may answer can shed light on the question of whether or not I complied or did not comply with these injunctions.
(Zaragoza) - Did you comply with them?
(Mundó)- I complied with them because, from the moment I was notified of them, I did not carry out any actions or decisions that ran contrary to these injunctions within the field of my authority."
(Zaragoza, on Unipost) - It would seem that you had committed the expense. Were you aware of it?
(Mundó)- I learned about it in detail by listening to the explanations of the parties who have taken the stand before me. However, I must challenge the premises. It is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were no such payments. And no matter how much we insist that this is a bill, it will not become a bill, it will remain a quotation."
When the prosecutor asked him about a tweet he made on 20S, Mundó warned that he would not answer such questions because he felt they have nothing to do with the crimes of which he stands accused:
"Surely a tweet has nothing to do with the crime of embezzlement. I will not answer [any questions on 20 September] because I feel that they are unrelated to the crimes of embezzlement and disobedience."
The same happened when he was asked about 27 October, the transition law or how he voted on 1-O:
"Quan vaig arribar es podia votar, però crec que tenir un debat sobre el dret a vot o no... em sembla sorprenent, he d'insistir, no sé si el fet d'anar a "It was possible to vote when I arrived, but I believe that holding a debate on whether or not there is a right to vote... surprises me, I insist, I do not know if going to vote is somehow related to the crime of embezzlement."té o no relació amb el delicte de malversació."
1-O: "I suppose it was funded with private money"
Mundó denied that any funds were allocated to the referendum:
"The referendum was not funded with public money. I assume it was funded with private money."
"I can clearly establish that we did not spend a single Euro on the organisation of this referendum, as minister Montoro himself said, not one Euro of the Catalan government's money."
"Contracting for the purpose of carrying out the referendum was not difficult, it was outright impossible."
7 years in prison
Both the State Attorney General and the Government Attorney's Office are going for 7 years in prison for him for the charges of disobedience and embezzlement, as well as a 30,000 fine for the first charge.
Mundó was imprisoned between 2 November and 4 December 2017.
- Catalan independence trial