On Tuesday, November 6th, he will go down in history as one of those black days in the Spanish judicial history. While 28 magistrates of the contentious administrative chamber, the third room, deliberated to resolve who, if clients or banks, had to pay the tax for documented legal acts of mortgages, in Strasbourg came a great reverse: Arnaldo Otegi and four other Basque nationalist leaders did not have a fair trial at the National Court for the Bateragune case in 2010.

During the afternoon of this Tuesday the third room was divided into two halves after a debate jointly chaired by the president of the room, Luis Díez-Picazo. Ten magistrates, according to the ARA, lifted their hands to ask for the floor, but Díez-Picazo considered that this would prolong the debate and demanded that it be voted on immediately. The magistrate José Manuel Sieira, former president of the third room, told him: "You are holding the debate." Díez-Picazo did not go back: "I am the president, I direct the debate. Vote ".

In the genesis of the behavior of the third room, the leadership style of Carlos Lesmes, the president of the Supreme Court and the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) must be placed since December 2013, whose mandate expires on 4 December. This authoritarian style took him on October 18 and 19 – after learning that the second section of the room had resolved three sentences according to which these mortgage acts should be assumed by the banks – to interfere and suggest to President Díez- The need to issue a communique on the issue. Although Díez-Picazo resisted him, he finally highlighted in a note "the enormous economic and social repercussions" of resolutions. And although Lesmes promised that the sentences could not be annulled, when a plenary session of the meeting was convened for November 5th, the suspicions about the change were a secret of public domain.

It seemed that this would be, at the moment, the last episode of the crisis of the judicial system, but, as with current issues in the fashion series produced by Netflix and other companies, also the justice of Spain is an inspirational source for To manufacture, with extraordinary speed, new chapters. Last Monday, November 5, when the deliberation of 28 magistrates of the third room began, the former Minister of Justice of the government of Mariano Rajoy Rafael Catalá, on behalf of the President of the PP, Pablo Casado, proposed to the Minister of Justice, Dolores Thin an "alternative of consensus": the appointment of the current president of the Second Chamber of the Supreme, Manuel Marchena, for the post of President of the Supreme and of the CGPJ.

That the proposal be made between the two negotiators of the renewal of the CGPJ, when the most normal is that the presidency is the result of a pact between the heads of the PSOE and the PP, that is, Sánchez and Casado, seemed strange. In September 2008, for example, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced that he proposed Carlos Dívar after receiving Rajoy at the Moncloa, a decision that was widely criticized because it was an election that formally made the vowels. It is they who take possession before the president whom they choose in their first act as advisers.

The exchange between Delgado and Catalá assumed an obvious risk: the leak of the name of Marchena three weeks after the appointment of the successor of Lesmes. And the risk materialized on Friday, when The country He revealed that the PP proposed Marchena and the PSOE rejected it.

The idea of ​​appointing Marchena, who, according to various legal sources consulted by the NRA, the same interested party knew, had been matured for a long time in Casado's state. Marchena had been a rival of Lesmes in the struggle for the presidency of the Supreme Court and the CGPJ in 2013, but then he was only magistrate of the second chamber. However, it was not the only opportunity. Five years later he could be his when the mandate of Lesmes was over. In September 2014 Marchena increased its power when it was appointed, with the support of Lesmes and the conservative sector of the CGPJ, president of the second room.

The irruption of the trial of the Process

In spite of everything, in October 2017 the criminal lawsuit filed by the State Attorney General José Manuel Maza for crimes of rebellion, embezzlement and disobedience against the independence leaders seemed to frustrate the plan for which Marchena had prepared – that is to say, to be the future president of the Supreme Court and the CGPJ -, because as president of the second room he presided over the admission chamber of the complaint and he was the speaker of the interlocutor that goes admit And, at the same time, he would be the president and speaker of the oral court. On October 25, Marchena signed two interlocutors: the confirmation of the conclusion of the instruction of the magistrate Pablo Llarena and the one that decreed the opening of the oral judgment.

Under these conditions, appointing Marchena the Supreme president and the CGPJ would involve theoretically two additional changes: that the new CGPJ would appoint a new president of the second court in place of Marchena and that a new president and speaker of the trial of the Process be appointed, as well as the appointment of a new judge to replace him. The presidency and lecture will fall on the oldest magistrate of the seven-member court, already designated at the opening court of oral proceedings. This is Andrés Martínez Arrieta, who, together with other members of the court, was challenged by the defenses. The magistrate Susana Polo could, in turn, cover the vacancy that would occur in the court. In this case, Martinez Arrieta should take some time to study the cause in more detail.

The deadlines are very tight because at the beginning of December, when theoretically, this lace of pieces will be consumed, it is planned to hold sessions in which the process court will deal with the defenses of the prosecutors, the so-called pronouncement articles – declining of jurisdiction or question of competition of the Supreme on the cause of the Process, among other things.

The PSOE already accepted in 2013 the appointment of Lesmes as president of the Supreme and the CGPJ, but then governed the PP. Rubalcava focused his opposition on Marchena and considered Lesmes a lesser evil. Now he governs the PSOE and prefers the appointment of a woman to cover this presidency; from the candidate of Vice President Carmen Calvo – the Catalan Lourdes Arastey, a member of the Social Court of the Supreme Court – to Pilar Teso – from the third and rival room of Lesmes in 2013 -, going through Catalan Encarnación Roca, vice president of Constitutional Court, and by Ana Ferrer, the first woman to break the unanimity of men in the second room, candidacy defended by Minister Dolores Delgado.

Operation of Sánchez?

The question is: ¿Pedro Sánchez arranges to embark on one of those operations that he likes? That is to say, support a candidate who promotes the PP -Marchena- to send the message to the independentism that the magistrate who has supported and confirmed the instruction of Llarena will not be the president and speaker of the sentence that would have to dictate to the month of July if the trial begins at the end of January.

However, a hypothetical appointment of Marchena would entail an interference of the two major parties in the trial of the process through the change of the president and speaker, which, at the same time, may shadow, retrospectively, the actions during the process of " instruction All this, clarified, with the subsequent consequences in the demands before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.

"The theoretical appointment of Marchena as the firefighter of the crisis of justice, moving it from the presidency and presentation of the trial of the Process, can be presented as separating a judge who has supported all the measures of Llarena and that is seen as the whip of face to the oral judgment and the sentence. That is why, without a doubt, once again the Process is at the heart of the ongoing crisis and the proposals to address it, "a prosecutor who prefers anonymity is pointing to the ARA.

"It is the trial of the Process, stupid, we could say," says another ex-manager in this newspaper. It is this judgment that guides the main maneuvers, both on the part of the Spanish government and on the part of the magistrates involved. "

The spectacle of Spanish justice is " the ray that does not stop ", Although, unlike the poemario of Miguel Hernández, the protagonism is the power struggles, the aspirations, pure and hard, of power.

Yesterday, according to sources known about the negotiations, Catalá was once again in contact with the Delgado Minister to bring closer positions, given the need to present, as of tomorrow, the lists of vowels who will be appointed as jurists for the new CGPJ.


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