24 July 2018

Carmen Lamela is appointed judge of the Supreme Court’s Second Chamber and the daughter of Manuel Marchena is unlawfully accepted in a public tax position


The until then instructing magistrate at the National High Court, Carmen Lamela, is known for controversial decisions with significant political consequences, such as taking on the case against the leaders involved in the 1 October referendum and the case against the head of the Mossos d’Esquadra (despite questions arising concerning his jurisdiction); the sentences to jail for Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez on 16 October 2017 and of members of the Catalan Government on 2 November 2017; the preventive detention of the former president of Barça, Sandro Rosell for 22 months (later he ended up acquitted); and the decision to take on the investigation and sentence preventive detention to those investigated in the case of the youngsters from Altsasu. On the same day, the daughter of magistrate Manuel Marchena, president of the the Supreme Court’s Criminal Chamber, responsible for trying the leaders involved in the 1 October referendum, is accepted in the position of prosecutor in an unprecedented move by the Permanent Commission of the General Council of the Judiciary (chaired by Carlos Lesmes, president of the Supreme Court) which has enabled her to switch from a judicial career to that of a prosecutor and which has led to a prosecutor position being created in addition to those already provided for in the public procurement for these job positions. On 7 August, the Atenes Lawyer’s Association for Civil Rights filed a complaint against some members of the General Council of the Judiciary and the Director of the Judiciary School before the Supreme Court for the crime of prevarication for both appointments. The Director of the Judiciary School is Gema Espinosa, the wife of the other magistrate investigating the case against the 1 October leaders, Pablo Llarena. The Association considers that there was favorable treatment in the appointments, condemns the lack of experience and merits of Lamela, other than her links with the PP, and alleges irregularities in the appointment of Sofía Marchena. The Supreme Court rejects the complaint.

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