Sánchez gives in again to Puigdemont and offers total amnesty, “Now, self-determination,” says independence leader

PuigdemontCarles Puigdemont

The PSOE has managed to unblock the amnesty law after a road full of obstacles. For the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, it is a “source of pride”, but along the way the Socialists have left themselves several wounds in the form of concessions to Junts per Catalunya. It is the price to be paid to breathe life into the legislature that has begun in fits and starts and that can now put the lights on, at least until the Catalan elections scheduled for the beginning of next year. But the stability that, in theory, it gains, does not seem placid. Hours after the agreement, Carles Puigdemont celebrated it with a tweet in which he thanked the PSOE for its “willingness”, but also announced that he has no intention of stopping there. “Now, self-determination. We have every right to continue the independence process”.

Despite everything, the agreement on the amnesty law reached between PSOE and Junts does not guarantee its application to the terrorism case opened by the Supreme Court against Carles Puigdemont or to the proceedings being followed in the National Court in the ‘Tsunami Democràtic’ and CDR cases. This is according to legal sources familiar with these proceedings. And both government media and Junts’ legal advisors admit it.

The basis for the new amendments is European legislation on terrorism, in particular the EU Directive of 15 March 2017, which established a common legal framework for all Member States to combat terrorism and introduced a harmonised definition of these offences.

In the final text, the reference to the Spanish Penal Code has been deleted with a clear purpose: to establish that only terrorist offences as regulated in the EU Directive are excluded from the amnesty: The amnesty law shall exclude from its application “acts which by reason of their purpose may be qualified as terrorism, in accordance with Directive (EU) 2017/541 of the European Parliament and of the Council (. …) and have intentionally caused serious violations of human rights, in particular those covered by Articles 2 and 3 [right to life and prohibition of torture] of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”.

It follows that acts that constitute terrorism in accordance with the definition of the Criminal Code and that exceed the scope of the Directive would be amnestiable.

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