March 4, 2021

Justice disables the minister in charge of the Catalan elections for disobeying the 1-O



The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has sentenced the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Institutional Relations of the Generalitat, Benat Solé, to one year of disqualification and to pay a fine of 16,800 euros for a crime of disobedience for having organized the referendum of 1 -Or in his time as mayor of Agramunt (Lleida). Solé’s conviction, which is not firm and can be appealed to the Supreme Court, comes when the minister is in the process of organizing the Catalan elections.

In its ruling, the Civil and Criminal Chamber of the TSJC concludes that Solé “had an active and determined participation” in the logistics of the referendum in Agramunt despite having been warned by the Constitutional Court that he should prevent the vote. The court does not give credence to Solé’s version, who in the trial denied having organized the vote and whom the Prosecutor’s Office requested a year and a half of disqualification.

The court highlights that Solé, in addition to appearing at the electoral college “from the first moment”, assumed different “logistical responsibilities” during the day, for example “hiding in a safe place the ballot boxes with the votes deposited inside and the compromising documentation voting related [las actas]”as well as” advance the closing time of the vote “given the possibility that the Civil Guard would come to the municipality to intervene in the school.

Solé was the second mayor to go to trial for the investigations that the Prosecutor’s Office opened to more than 700 councilors before 1-O. Except for a dozen cases, the proceedings were shelved. But unlike Solé, Justice acquitted the mayor of Roses (Girona) of having helped the organization of 1-O. The rest of the mayors or former mayors await a date to sit on the bench.

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