December 3, 2020

Three members of the Judiciary criticize the decision not to give protection to the progressive judge of Gürtel


Álvaro Cuesta, Rafael Mozo and Pilar Sepúlveda, members of the General of the Judiciary (CGPJ) at the proposal of the PSOE, have signed a private vote in which they criticize the decision of the governing body of the judges to reject the petition for protection requested by Judge José Ricardo de Prada, a member of the court that handed down the sentence in the case of the First Era of Gürtel, for several opinion articles recently published in the press in which he is held responsible for the motion of censure that evicted the PP from the Government.

Gürtel's progressive magistrate asks the CGPJ for protection for opinion articles that hold him responsible for the motion of censure

Gürtel’s progressive magistrate asks the CGPJ for protection for opinion articles that blame him for the motion of censure

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Last Thursday, the Permanent Commission – the decision-making and command nucleus of the CGPJ – analyzed his request and agreed to inadmissible considering that “the determining elements of disruption or attack on judicial independence” established by the reiterated doctrine of the Supreme Court did not concur. Conservative members Juan Martínez Moya, Juan Manuel Fernández, José Antonio Ballestero and Nuria Díaz supported this decision.

The progressive members consider, however, that these texts contained “excessive and disproportionate expressions that go beyond the limits of freedom of expression and legitimate criticism of judicial decisions” and that “undermine the dignity and professional consideration of the magistrate, violating his judicial independence and undermining social trust in justice ”, so the CGPJ should at least have admitted this request for protection and studied it.

In his petition, De Prada appreciated a “press campaign carried out by certain journalists and the media – he cites as examples two editorials from Abc and La Razón and an opinion article from El Mundo – in a coordinated manner” against him and that the same it affects their “professional indemnity”, while “seriously disturbing and disturbing” their judicial independence. He perceives the opinion articles “as pressure and retaliation” for his participation in the drafting of the aforementioned sentence.

And he added that he had been “chosen as a judge- ‘scapegoat’ on which to elaborate an interested account with which to undermine the meaning, credibility and validity of a judicial decision that they consider unfavorable to the interests they represent, with manifest disregard for the truth. , and abuse of the right to information and freedom of expression “.

In addition, De Prada alleged in his petition that these newspaper articles could have an impact on his future performance in other separate pieces of the Gürtel case, pending prosecution and of whose court he is a member. The vocals Cuesta, Mozo and Sepúlveda also believe this, who maintain that these “professional disqualifications” are projected onto those pieces because – they maintain – “the climate of anguish and disturbance caused is not momentary and is logically projected into the future.”

In their individual vote, the aforementioned members believe that with this decision the CGPJ failed to comply with an institutional declaration made on January 23, 2014, at the beginning of its mandate, by which the body promised to protect the independence of all judges. And they question that the CGPJ rejected De Prada’s request without making a “public demonstration” in defense of its “independence” and in the appeal to the need for very specific means of communication not to engage in disrespectful, reckless and deceptive attitudes. discredit of the Judiciary ”.

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