Tensions were high among MPs. EFE
MPs approve controversial amnesty for Catalan separatists in Spain

MPs approve controversial amnesty for Catalan separatists in Spain

Spanish courts now have two months to wipe out the charges and proceedings against some 372 people linked to illegal independence moves

Mateo Balín


Friday, 31 May 2024, 11:05


In a fiery session on Thursday this week, Spanish MPs approved the controversial amnesty law for Catalan separatists who have court action against them.

It comes into force today and the focus now swings from parliament to the judiciary and courts where there are criminal, administrative and accountancy cases over the illegal independence process of 2017. In practice, the new law means rubbing out those legal proceedings in favour of "normalising institutions, politics and society in Catalonia".

Acccording to government calculations, those cases affect 372 people, among them 90 police officers who are supposed to have helped the October 2017 illegal independence referendum.

From today, judges and court officials have up to two months to put the new amnesty law into practice. However there are question marks over what to do with some court warrants already out there, especially the national arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont, who was president of Catalonia in 2017 and has been living in self-exile in Belgium since then.

Puigdemont has said that he plans to return to Spain in July and, as leader of Catalan party Junts, may still try to become regional president again after his party came second in Catalan elections earlier this month. The Spanish Supreme Court is expected to ask the EU Court of Justice to give its views on the warrant's validity.

The opposition conservative PP has said it will appeal the new law before Spain's Constitutional Court.

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