Tue. Apr 23rd, 2019

The prosecutor asks to reject the Torra complaint against the Electoral Board for prohibiting ties

El fiscal pide rechazar la querella de Torra contra la Junta Electoral por prohibir lazos

The Prosecutor has requested the Supreme Court to inadmit the complaint presented by the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Quim Torraagainst the members of the Central Electoral Board (JEC) for alleged crime of prevarication by prohibiting pro-independence symbols in public buildings. The JEC dictated three resolutions referring to the presence of steep flags and yellow ties in the public buildings dependent on the Generalitat that in Torra's opinion suppose a crime of administrative prevarication.

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In the brief that has been filed in the Criminal Chamber of the high court, the Prosecutor's Office indicates that, under the numerous and concurring jurisprudence of this court regarding the aforementioned crime, the complaint does not meet any of the requirements specified in the Penal Code. He adds that the JEC is obliged to guarantee the provisions set forth in article 50.2 of the Organic Law of the General Electoral System (LOREG).

This precept says that "from the convocation of the elections to the celebration thereof, any act organized or financed, directly or indirectly, by the public powers that contains allusions to the achievements or achievements is prohibited." Also according to the same article is also prohibited any act "that uses images or expressions coinciding or similar to those used in their own campaigns by any of the political entities attending the elections."

The Prosecutor's Office recalls that the complainant "has repeatedly failed to comply with the requirements made with unacceptable subterfuges and based on an ambiguous or generic drafting of the agreements, which had no purpose other than to delay compliance with the agreements or to finally fail to comply with it." He adds that "this is what happened in spite of his crude maneuvers of masking images or expressions that are clearly partisan and therefore forbidden".

The Office of the Public Prosecutor stresses that "the JEC could not remain impassive in the face of such behavior", for which reason it reacted and opened sanctions proceedings against the complainant for its "unacceptable conduct" and referred the Prosecutor's Office to assess whether it has criminal significance. It also rejects Quim Torra's assessment that the resolutions of the JEC have violated the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Remember that this right and the rest of those included in the Constitution are not absolute, in the sense that they do not allow restrictions. "This is what the LOREG carries out by temporarily restricting the exercise of this right from the convocation of the elections until its conclusion to safeguard another higher interest, that of the necessary neutrality of the public administrations during the electoral development", concludes the report, signed by the lieutenant prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Luis Navajas.

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