Fri. Apr 26th, 2019

Javier Zaragoza, the battering ram of the Office of the Prosecutor

Javier Zaragoza, el ariete de la Fiscalía



Javier Zaragoza (Alcorisa, 1955) has had a prominent and singular role throughout the case 1-O, and not only now in the oral trial ongoing in the Supreme. Of the four prosecutors who intervene in the hearing, he is the one who previously had contact with the subject being prosecuted. When the Parliament approved the declaration I / XI, of December 27, 2015, in the office that Zaragoza occupied at the time as chief prosecutor of the National Court, all the alarms went off.

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Another might have expected events, but to him it seemed that the announcement of the will to build state structures was in itself a serious threat to the political and legal system. That is why he immediately set to work. And he sent all the police forces in the country - Mossos d'Esquadra and Ertzaintza included - an instruction so that they remain attentive and inform the Audience of any activity aimed at replacing the State institutions in Catalonia, due to their possible fit in various criminal types, including those of rebellion and sedition.





Now, in the trial, Javier Zaragoza has carried out some of the most documented and extensive interrogations. Above all, in the appearances of police commanders, both the Civil Guard and the National Police and the Mossos d'Esquadra, including Major Josep Lluís Trapero and the main body commissars. Among the politicians, he interrogated former Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría; al expresident Artur Mas; to the former Minister of Finance Cristóbal Montoro, and to the ex-delegate of the Government Enric Millo. And to the judicial secretary of the register of the Conselleria d'Economia, Montserrat del Toro.

In that specialty, he is truly skilled. He exudes the experience of the National Court on all four sides. When a witness follows, the statement flows like water. And when, on the other hand, he has to use the corkscrew, he does so with studied verbal and gestural language, combining the elevation of the tone and the twisting of the gesture.


The initial reports about the projected state structures were commissioned by this prosecutor

With the president of the tribunal, Manuel Marchena, he has met more than once. Marchena was a prosecutor, he knows the trade well and, in front of the Criminal Chamber, tries to maintain the balance at all times and treat accusations and defenses equally. That is why from time to time he asks Zaragoza - as he also does with some lawyers - not to ask questions with the induced response. And the prosecutor does not protest, pretends, at the most with a slight gesture of disappointment, and in the next corner rethinks the matter introducing a new nuance, or in other words. Pure forensic practice.





Zaragoza has 37 years of professional practice in the Office of the Prosecutor, 11 of them as head of prosecutors in the National Court. And before it was in San Sebastian, in the toughest times of ETA terrorism. From there he went to the headquarters of the Anti-Drug Prosecutor's Office, already as prosecutor of the courtroom, the maximum of the race. From that position he collaborated in various operations with the exjuez Baltasar Garzón. They were friends. Zaragoza, in any case, had less propensity to get on the helicopter to attend the practice of diligences.

Then, the investigation on the victims of the Francoism separated them definitively. The chief prosecutor accused Garzón of opening a "general cause" about the Civil War and the crimes of the Franco regime. He added that the crimes would have been pardoned by the Amnesty Law of 1978. Now, ironies of life, the defenses of case 1-O also speak of "general cause", this time against the independence movement.

Javier Zaragoza faced this reproach from his first intervention in the oral hearing. His speech was the one that opened the participation of the Prosecutor's Office in the trial. He was preparing it with great care. He made it very clear what the prosecutor was doing at this hearing in the Supreme Court. He began by saying that "it is intended to transform into victims of political persecution those who have fractured and seriously broken the constitutional order, and paradoxically sit on the bench to the State, which through its institutions has tried to restore the legal order."





The thesis of Zaragoza was that the purpose of "some of the defenses" was to formulate, more than defensive arguments, "authentic accusatory libels" to "create a distorted vision of reality, with the sole purpose of discrediting and discrediting justice Spanish "and" question the democratic quality of our Rule of Law ". The representative of the State, in a pure state, never found redundancy better.

More than a preliminary intervention, the speech sounded definitive conclusions. We will have to see it, but, just as the trial and the positions that the Prosecutor's Office expresses at each step - insisting on everything that supports the thesis of the use of violence to favor disengagement plans - it does not seem easy for prosecutors end up lowering the main initial accusation, that of the crime of rebellion.







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