The National Court questions the CDR’s amnesty for terrorism

The National Court questions the CDR’s amnesty for terrorism
The National Court questions the CDR’s amnesty for terrorism

The National Court (AN) has serious “doubts” about amnestying the crime of terrorism charged to 12 pro-independence activists in the case of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) which could “seriously contravene” European legislation.

According to the judges of the Third Section of the court, there are reasons to believe that granting pardon to those under investigation through the Law promoted by the PSOE could constitute “a patent infringement” of Community regulations due to the way this crime is considered in the EU.

For this reason, the parties to the proceedings have been given a three-day period to decide whether they should go to the European Court of Justice with a preliminary question so that the CJEU can decide whether it is in accordance with European law to grant amnesty for membership in a terrorist organisation and possession of explosives attributed to the CDRs.

The judges note that the Law on Pardon for the “procés” is “somewhat contradictory” because it seeks to exclude from the possible beneficiaries “only those who represent a serious violation of human rights, in particular against the right to life”, when the European Directive on combating terrorism does not distinguish between different levels of “high and low intensity” terrorism, as they believe was intended to be reflected in the content of the Law to include these twelve radical activists indicted.

European legislation on terrorism considers, recalls the National Court, that “all acts of terrorism are extremely serious” and therefore does not include, in the Amnesty Law, only those involved in what the legislator considered the most serious cases of the crime of terrorism.

The Court relies on the fact that, from the perspective of Community law, there is no terrorism “in what socially and euphemistically has been called low intensity”. “As if terrorism could be classified as high intensity and low intensity”, critically state the judges Alfonso Guevara, Jesús Eduardo Gutiérrez and Carlos Fraile who signed the order, regarding what they believe was intended to be reflected in the content of the Law to include the CDR.

“Limiting the exclusion from amnesty to the most serious violations of human rights in the area of ​​terrorism is contrary to what a State of Law must always and at all times pursue: the eradication and elimination of all forms of terrorism,” they conclude in this regard.

The Court also points out the “serious lack of definition and specificity” in which the Amnesty Law incurs because it does not clearly specify or describe in its text which specific acts are those that should be judged as “serious violations or infractions against human rights”, and, in particular, the judges criticize the fact that it does not establish “what is the limit” that establishes the seriousness of this violation of rights. A “lack of definition” that, the National Court warns, affects “directly and frontally” a fundamental right such as legal security.

The prosecution has made a 180-degree turn in its position in this case, going from requesting 27 years in prison for the dozen defendants to aligning itself with their defence to demand that they be granted amnesty on the grounds that they did not cause material damage, injury, or perpetrate any attack. The National Court now sides with the other party present in the case that denies the application of pardon to the CDR, the Catalan Association of Victims of Terrorist Organisations.

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