Spain’s politicalised judiciary


December 4, 2017

Dear Sirs
Spain’s politicalised judiciary divulges its face: Sra Carmen Lamela (56), judge at the Audiencia Nacional (national penal court) No 3 in Madrid. The jurist denied bail for two MPs of the Catalan government who are leaders of independence-seeking parties and decreed they called the “two Jordis” be prisoners on remand.
The two accused participated in a peaceful demonstration against Guardia Civil officers trying to execute a search warrant. Three GC vehicles were demolished. Subsequent appeals containing Supreme Court decisions which deny any jurisdiction of such cases for the Audiencia Nacional and the demand for an immediate release on bail were denied.
In 2016, judge Lamela, in another inglorious case of a political administration of justice, made headlines: In a bar in the town of Alsua, Navarra, two Guardia Civil officers received in front of their girlfriends a severe beating by local yokels. A Pamplona court considered the case as a simple pub argument between topers. Sra Lamela disagreed! She had the case reopened, presented aggravating charges of an “act of terrorism against the state”, threw seven defendants in the slammer and put two minors at the disposition of the youth authority.
The European warrant for arrest issued by Judge Lamella to extradite Catalan president Puigdemont and four MPs, who fled to Belgium, contains accusations lacking reciprocity regarding Belgian law. In addition, Sra Lamela’s extradition requests slanders Sr Puigdement with “corruption” inexistent by a specific article in the penal code.
Sr Puigdemont’s Flemish lawyer, Paul Bakaert, who in the past prevented the extraditions of members of the Basque separatist movement ETA to Spain, had all declarations of his client taken in Netherlanish, one of Belgium’s official languages, in order to make sure the case will be assigned to a Flemish judge. Mr Francken, president of the Flemish Parliament, criticised the detention of democratically elected Catalan MPs as unacceptable. The Belgian district attorney defending Spain’s interest, concerning the extradition request, requested from Madrid a report on Spanish prison conditions. Spanish interior minister Zoido boasted in a press conference: “We don’t take lectures from anyone…” The subject of Spanish prison conditions will certainly be presented by the lawyer in January/February 2018 before the Belgian cassation court, which is the last appeal court to rule on the extradition request. Mr Bakaert’s motion will be based on article 267 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), which says, “When a question is raised before a national court against whose decision there is no judicial remedy under national law, that court shall bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union to obtain a preliminary ruling”.
The lawyer will delightfully base his request on the fact that, for decades, 400 to 500 ETA prisoners are subject to retaliatory incarceration by doing time in correctional facilities situated as far as possible away from their families. The European Court of Human Rights and the UNO demanded several times that Spain put an end to this inhuman treatment. The implementation of EU-Norm 675/2008. The right to serve a sentence to maintain contact with relatives has been denied by the Spanish government for the last nine years! To obtain a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the EU takes about two years, a long time for Madrid’s politicians to be placed internationally at the pillory.
Finally, the Belgian makers of delicious confectionery still have a “historical bone” to pick with Joselito Españolito: On May 7, 1945 the Belgian fascist leader and founder of the SS Division Wallonia” or Walloon”, León Degrelle, commandeered a Heinkel He 111 aircraft, allegedly provided by German armaments minister Albert Speer, with the last drop of fuel into northern Spain and crash landed on the beaches of San Sebastian, Basque province. (When Hitler personally awarded Degrelle the oak leaves to the Knight’s Cross, he said: “If I had a son, I’d have liked him to be like you”.)
A Belgian court convicted Degrelle of treason in absentia to death by firing squad and Belgian extradition demands were greeted with laughter. Degrelle, who… never heard of… Belgium severed diplomatic relations with Spain. Degrelle survived six kidnapping attempts. Naturalised in 1954, Degrelle was adopted by an elderly Spanish woman and pursued a prosperous business career including building in Spain bases for the US Armed Forces and his new identity of Josè Ramirez de Reina ruled out any extradition to Belgium.

Best regards
Wilfried Weissmann

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