The former president of the Generalitat who fled to Belgium, Carles Puigdemont, has requested the recusal of the investigating judge of the process, Pablo Llarena, for having ruled on a hypothetical amnesty for those accused of the independence challenge. Llarena gave a conference a few weeks ago in Burgos in which he stated, among other things, that it should be examined whether the amnesty is justified and whether it has a place in the Constitution. The amnesty is the condition that ERC and Junts have placed on Pedro Sánchez to support his investiture. The magistrate’s words, according to Puigdemont’s defense, “leave no doubt about his lack of impartiality and direct interest in the case.”
Gonzalo Boye, lawyer for the former president and leader of Junts, wonders “since when” the role of a judge “involves evaluating the legitimacy” of the laws approved by Parliament. And he emphasizes that it is Llarena’s alleged “lack of impartiality” that leads him to question “the legitimacy of the norms” approved by political representatives.
In his speech in Burgos, Llarena spoke about various aspects of a possible amnesty for those accused of the process. “If there is a constitutionally legitimate purpose that justifies us deactivating, as with a remote control, certain essential principles such as the separation of powers and equality before the law, well, let’s see,” he said. It is necessary to examine, he added, whether the reason for adopting this measure “justifies” the limitation of constitutional principles.
Puigdemont has presented a second document in which he responds to a request from Llarena. The judge had asked the former Catalan president to clarify whether he had requested the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to maintain his parliamentary immunity, which had been withdrawn by the General Court of the European Union but is pending appeal. Boye argues that a request of this kind has no normative support and asks that the deadline given by Llarena to respond (10 days) be suspended.
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