June 17, 2021

The Government opens the door to an express reform of the Penal Code to deal only with the crime of sedition


Pedro Sánchez is determined to make a move in Catalonia, regardless of the electoral bill that they fear in the socialist ranks. The president of the Government has been sending unequivocal signals for a week of his determination to grant partial clemency to the leaders of the you process, despite the unfavorable reports from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court, as a way to open a new time in the relations between the State and the Generalitat, but which in Moncloa they consider that it will be a decisive gesture to largely placate the independence movement. As the term of the legislature approaches, Sánchez has chosen to open that melon. “Helping to solve problems does not represent a cost, the cost would be to leave things as they are”, affirmed this monday. But the matter is not limited only to pardons, but the intention of the Government is to move forward with the modification of the Penal Code to lower the penalties for sedition and to do so immediately, according to what it said. The country and government sources have confirmed to elDiario.es. The question, as these interlocutors admit, is whether to deal with that crime individually or to include it in the comprehensive reform of the criminal law, which until now was the intention of the Government.


Experts bet on lowering the penalties for sedition or making it clear that there must be violence

Experts bet on lowering the penalties for sedition or making it clear that there must be violence

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Addressing the situation of the independence prisoners is one of the issues that has been on Sánchez’s table since the PSOE began negotiations with ERC for his inauguration more than a year ago, despite the fact that in the electoral campaign he assured that they would comply fully with the convictions. The Catalan Republicans demanded that the Socialists fix the situation of the condemned, including their leader, Oriol Junqueras, through an amnesty. However, it is an insurmountable red line for Sánchez, who had two other formulas that ERC assumes despite his initial claim: one is the pardon [cuya tramitación se ha llevado a cabo a instancias de un tercero, no por los propios afectados] and, the other, to lower the penalties for sedition that would lead, in practice, to an early departure of the imprisoned pro-independence leaders since it is applied retroactively if it benefits the defendant.

However, the second route would be much longer since it has to pass the corresponding parliamentary procedure, and even more so with the intention of the Government to include this modification in the comprehensive reform of the Penal Code in which the Ministry of Justice has been working since the previous one. legislature. Despite the fact that the Executive had assumed months ago that the formula would be pardon, he maintains the intention of making those changes. “Now is the time,” state government sources. The parallel processing of this modification of the penalties could serve as an argument in the pardon file. Sánchez remarked this Monday that “the important thing” is to allow the Ministry of Justice to work because the files have to “be built, well armed, well founded.” The Executive is aware that it has to be charged with reasons in front of the Supreme Court before the judicial battle that have already declared PP, Vox and Ciudadanos.

Since the beginning of the legislature, the Government has defended these changes in the classification for conform to European legislation after several blows at the time of prosecuting pro-independence leaders, such as former president Carles Puigdemont, who are abroad. “Spain in 2017 learned a lesson, we saw how decoupled our Penal Code was in relation to these crimes with respect to other criminal codes of other European countries. The Government has always expressed its willingness to update these crimes and homologate them to more advanced countries in more democratic terms “Sánchez recalled this Monday.

However, until now the Government had defended that the reform of the penalties for sedition would be included in the package of the comprehensive reform of the Penal Code. In his last appearance in the Justice Commission on May 19, Minister Juan Carlos Campo affirmed that modifications of the Penal Code cannot be proposed “every quarter of an hour.” “It will come the moment it is finished and so I can take it to the Council of Ministers, and when it is enriched with the reports it will reach this Chamber. Hopefully it will be soon,” added Campo. Government sources assure that “the work is done”.

Although Sánchez avoided putting a date on the pardons, Moncloa’s forecast is, in any case, that the matter be settled at the end of June or the beginning of July and that, subsequently, the dialogue table between the Government and the Generalitat meets. Sánchez assured that before he will receive Pere Aragonès and Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Moncloa as is established by protocol given their recent election. In the socialist ranks they hope that the procedure will be as soon as possible to keep it as far as possible from the electoral processes since they fear a significant punishment at the polls and Moncloa and Ferraz have deployed an explanatory campaign in recent days to defend the measure of grace as a opportunity to “open a future of coexistence”, as defined by Sánchez.

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