The amnesty law proposal agreed by the PSOE with the pro-independence and nationalist formations erases the responsibility for all acts that were classified as crimes or as conduct determining administrative or accounting responsibility linked to the consultation held in Catalonia on November 9, 2014 and the referendum on October 1, 2017, both declared unconstitutional. Specifically, it covers all acts “that were carried out between January 1, 2012 and November 13, 2023.”
In this way, although no proper names or mention of specific cases are included, the grace measure will be applied not only to the leaders of ERC and Junts, Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont, along with the main pro-independence leaders (ministers and deputies), but also to the directors of schools where the 1-0 ballot boxes were installed and also to the police officers who acted during voting day, in addition to those accused of participating in the actions of the CDR and Tsunami Democràtic. Pedro Sánchez’s party raises this initiative, presenting it as a decisive and necessary step in favor of “a higher interest: that of political coexistence.”
In addition, it makes an implicit reference to the case of the former president of the Generalitat who took refuge in the Belgian city of Waterloo by pointing out that “the search and arrest warrants and imprisonment of the people to whom this applies will be void.” amnesty, as well as national, European and international arrest warrants”. It also establishes that judicial decisions for compliance with the law will be adopted “on a preferential and urgent basis, regardless of the status of the administrative procedure or the judicial or accounting process in question,” and “within the maximum period of two months, without prejudice to subsequent appeals, which will not have suspensive effects”, which in practice prevents the courts from being able to stop the immediate return of the independence leader.
“The amnesty covers not only the organization and celebration of the consultation and the referendum, but also other possible crimes that have a deep connection with them, such as the preparatory acts, the different protest actions to allow its celebration or show opposition to the prosecution or conviction of those responsible, also including assistance, collaboration, advice or representation of any kind, protection and security to those responsible, as well as all acts object of this law that accredit a political, social and institutional tension that is norm aspires to resolve,” states the 23-page text, which has been registered in person this afternoon in Congress only with the signature of the PSOE.
What the bill does not include is the explicit mention of the concept lawfarewhich would justify that there was judicial persecution for political reasons in the area of process, a word that does appear in the pact for Sánchez’s investiture signed between the PSOE and Junts and that has unleashed a wave of protests by judicial and professional groups of all kinds. The European Union has warned, in turn, that it will act “relentlessly” if any modification is proposed that involves a review by the political power of the decisions of the courts, although the bill does not mention the commissions of investigation in Parliament on judicial rulings that are included in said political agreement.