The defense of the former member of the United We Can Alberto Rodríguez, who was withdrew his seat on October 22 in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that convicted him For beating a policeman in 2014, he has filed an appeal before the Constitutional Court against that decision of the president of the Lower House, Meritxell Batet, to suspend him as a member of parliament. In the text, the lawyers demand the "urgent precautionary suspension" of that withdrawal of the act amid harsh accusations against the president of Congress.
Alberto Rodríguez maintains the fight for his seat
In the letter, to which elDiario.es has had access, the defense asks the Constitutional Court to return the seat, and denounces that withdrawing the act was "a unilateral, unfounded and, therefore, arbitrary decision" of the president of Congress. Batet is accused of having "violated" up to seven fundamental rights of Rodríguez, as well as those of the 64,000 Canarian voters who elected him as a deputy for Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The lawyers also maintain that the president of Congress "invented a cause, not provided for in the law, to deprive Rodríguez of his seat."
The defense of the former leader of United We Can - who left politics and returned to his job in a factory as soon as he lost his seat -, exercised by the lawyers, Isabel Elbal and Gonzalo Boye, considers that the constitutional precepts "infringed" by Batet with its decision to suspend the former deputy "are, on the one hand, the fundamental rights recognized in articles 9.3, 14, 16, 21, 23, 24 and 25 of the Constitution", several precepts of the European Convention for the Protection of Rights Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as, "among others, articles 12, 49, 50 and 54 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union."
For Rodríguez's lawyers, the controversial resolution by which Batet announced that he was suspending Alberto Rodríguez from the status of deputy, which generated a major political storm last fall, "is the result of great arbitrariness." In the defense opinion, the decision was adopted "without any motivation, beyond saying that it is based on the judgment itself handed down by the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court", which sentenced him to 45 days in prison and the prohibition to exercise passive suffrage during that period, although the penalty was replaced by a fine of 540 euros that was satisfied by the former deputy as soon as the sentence was known.
Batet "created a new, more damaging penalty"
With the withdrawal of the seat, Rodríguez's defense considers that Batet created "a new penalty, not provided for in the law or provided for in the sentence handed down by the Supreme Court", which "is clearly much more damaging than the one imposed" by the High Court, "both in its effects and in its duration." The resolution of the president of Congress was adopted, in the opinion of the lawyers, "without following any type of previously established procedure and by those who do not have the authority to do so."
The text also notes that Batet's decision deviated from the conclusions of the first report issued by the lawyers of Congress, dated October 18, 2021, which considered that Rodríguez could keep the record despite the conviction. "The resolution is adopted without the support of any other report or advice and without giving reasons why it departs from the only report it had, which is none other than the one dated October 18," he concludes. For defense, the appearance of a document signed by the Secretary General of the Courts three days after the removal of the seat was known, which did support the suspension of the deputy, "does not suppose a legal basis for said resolution, since it is carried out and recorded after the resolution is adopted, looking more like an alibi" from Batet. than a legal report. "
In the appeal, the defense cites article 6 of the electoral law. "From said precept," says Rodríguez's defense, "it follows, in its literal interpretation, that those sentenced by a final sentence, to custodial sentence, are ineligible for the period that the sentence lasts," and "those sentenced for sentence, even if it is not final, for crimes of rebellion, terrorism, against the Public Administration or against State Institutions when it has established the penalty of disqualification for the exercise of the right to passive suffrage or that of absolute or special disqualification or suspension for employment or public office under the terms provided in criminal law ".
As for the lawyers of the former leader of United We Can, neither of the two assumptions was met in the suspension of Rodríguez, they conclude that Batet "invented a cause, not provided for in the Law, to deprive the former deputy of his seat."
The penalty "was extinguished with the fine"
The text also considers that the president of Congress, "as a jurist that she is, should have known" that when a prison sentence is substituted for a fine "the prison sentence is definitively and irreversibly substituted", so "there is no base type "to remove the seat. "The fine was paid immediately by my client with what the execution of this was exhausted there", adds the resource. The penalty, therefore, "was immediately extinguished by the payment of the fine, which is what the penalty was replaced with; from then on, it would not even be possible to speak of the duration of this for the purposes of the accessory of 'disqualification special for the right of passive suffrage during the time of the sentence '".
"The prison sentence was never born because, as the Supreme Court has already established in matters of substitution of sentences," reiterates Rodríguez's defense, "the prison sentence is definitively and irreversibly substituted." The appeal also recalls that the Spanish legal system "does not foresee the execution of the accessory penalty of special disqualification for the right to passive suffrage, through the deprivation of the seat."
For Rodríguez's lawyers, Batet not only "deprived the seat" of the former leader of Unidas Podemos, "but also deprived all those Canarian citizens who participated in the electoral process of their right to be represented by him" in which Alberto Rodríguez "He was elected to the position." "As if none of the above, Mrs. Batet i Lamaña, anguished by some unknown fear for this party or moved by some equally unknown intention for this party, departed not only from the exhaustive report of the Congress Lawyers to which we have already referred referred to, but even went much further than what the Sentencing Court requested of him. [que le comunicara cuando se inició el cumplimiento de la condena]", adds the appeal, making a veiled mention of the pressure that the president of Congress endured by the right to leave Rodríguez without a seat.
"The leap made" by the president of Congress, "moved by who knows what forces or reasons, is too great to have constitutional status," add the lawyers. "It was a leap into the void, dragging in said fall the fundamental rights of my client and of all the Canarian voters who entrusted their respective representations" to Alberto Rodríguez, settled. "She ignored the report of her lawyers and interpreted, as she wanted, what the Supreme Court requested of her."
However, the lawyers of the former congressman ask the Constitutional Court to "urgently" revoke the suspension as a deputy for Rodríguez, considering that "it is difficult to imagine" a "greater damage" than the withdrawal of the seat " as unconstitutional, illegal and disproportionate ". It also requires the court to hold a public hearing to decide definitively on the future of the former United Podemos parliamentarian.