spanish-court-ruling-paves-way-for-catalan-leader’s-removal

Spanish court ruling paves way for Catalan leader’s removal

Catalan President Quim Torra | Quique Garcia/EFE via EPA

Spanish court ruling paves way for Catalan leader’s removal

Quim Torra banned from public office for breaching electoral law.

By

9/28/20, 2:31 PM CET

Spain’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Catalan President Quim Torra violated electoral law, paving the way for his immediate removal as the region’s separatist leader.

The court upheld last year’s regional court ruling that Torra was guilty of disobedience for taking three days to remove banners and yellow ribbons draped on public buildings in support of jailed pro-independence leaders during an election campaign in 2019.

The lower court had banned him from public office for 18 months and fined him €30,000 plus the legal costs of the trial. In his appeal, Torra argued that his decision not to remove the symbols immediately was “political” rather than “administrative” and should be protected by the right to freedom of expression.

The Supreme Court rejected his appeal unanimously. In the ruling, judge Juan Ramón Berdugo said that, as a writer and lawyer, Torra had “above-average education and knowledge of the law” and was fully aware of the consequences of his actions.

It is now up to the Catalan Regional High Court to enforce the ruling and remove Torra from office, even if his lawyers petition to have the ruling annulled.

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