Catalan independence trial observers working for International Trial Watch have accused the president of the court, Manuel Marchena, of overacting when not allowing the deployment of discharge activity while ridiculing the inadmissibility of claims, which, they state, "could constitute not only a clear sign of an excess of authority, but an objective fact that endangers the right to an impartial judge as well."
They also denounce both excess of authority or its abuse, along with lack of consideration, among others, to be signs of serious misconduct for any given judge, regarding both citizens and defence counsels, thus questioning the impartiality of the judge.
"They way in which the President of the Chamber occasionally adresses defense lawyers as well as some citizens constitutes a matter of concern. The overacting attitude of the president when he does not allow to deploy discharge activity, emphasizing, underlining and, sometimes, ridiculing the inadmissibility of claims, could constitute a sign, not only of excessive authority, in the sense of the LOPJ (Judiciary Organization Act), but also an objective fact that would jeopardize the right to an impartial judge."
In this sense, they exemplify it when Marchena reproached lawyer Benet Salellas of having insulted the court he presides, during the interrogation of Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona Enoch Albertí, who was part of the advisory council that elaborated the White Book on National Transition.
In view of all this, ITW's report adds the following:
"The president may lose his neutrality or "the necessary appearance of impartiality" to become a protagonist of the legal debate. A debate whose only parties shall exclusively be both the accusations and the defenses."
International Trial Watch continues to denounce "a lack of proportionality between evidences so far submitted and the charges seeked by the accusation. Pro-independence prisoners are accused of rebellion and sedition.
"There is still a lack of proportionality between evidences so far submitted and those charges that the accusation seeks, including serious crimes as rebellion and / or sedition. Therefore, there is still a persisting concern over how certain facts that can constitute an expression of the exercise of fundamental rights, such as the rights of meeting or demonstration, freedom of expression continue to be adressed, along with the criminalization of ideological aspects."
For the observers, the imprisonment of pro-independence politicians is now "more unsustainable".
"The maintenance of an anticipatory grief becomes increasingly more untenable, as it is clearly contradictory with the exceptional nature of it and, in any case, with the recommendations and measures of the European Council on the restrictive application of preventive prison."
Assessments on the october 1 Trial (Week 11)
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Valoracions del Judici 1-O (Setmana 11)‼️ International Trial Watch (@InterTrialWatch) April 29, 2019
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