The president of the Government on functions, and socialist candidate in the elections next Sunday, Pedro Sánchez, has been taken for granted Wednesday that the Prosecutor’s office depends on the executive power. In an interview in RNE, Sanchez has been asked by the promise that launched the debate in the Monday that the Government will bring to Spain of former Catalan Carles Puigdemont, escaped in Belgium from October 2017. The decision to surrender, revived by the judge of the Supreme Court Paul Llarena, depends entirely on the belgian justice.

Faced with this question of the interviewer, the acting president has stressed that the Government is doing everything it can to extradition and is to supply to the belgian justice all information necessary for it to be effective the euroorden against Puigdemont. Sanchez has also added that it was the Prosecution that requested the activation of the euroorden and has put it as proof that the Government is acting, in making a rhetorical question: “who do you depend On the public Prosecutor?”, has said. Immediately afterwards, the interviewer responded: “Yes, yes, depends on the Government”. What Sanchez has settled: “it already is”.

The words of Sanchez have caused irritation in the associations of prosecutors, who insist on the independence of the public ministry. Sources, prosecutors also believe that these manifestations will make the delivery of the expresident of the “pour shadows of suspicion of interference by the executive branch” on the Prosecutor’s office.

In the video, the statements of Sanchez on Puigdemont in the election debate on Monday. ULY MARTÍN / VIDEO: QUALITY

In reality, the office of the public prosecutor, a body integrated with functional autonomy within the Judiciary, does not depend on either organic or functionally of the Government, as is clear from the words of Sanchez. It is true that the article 124.4 of the Constitution grants the Executive the appointment of the Attorney General of the State and that the Government can ask this to “promote in the Courts for actions that are relevant in order to the defence of the public interest”, according to article 8 of the Organic Statute of the Prosecutor’s office.

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however, both the Constitution and its own Organic Statute establish that prosecutors acted “with full objectivity and independence” in defence of legality, and that in his actions govern “in any case” the “principles of legality and impartiality” subject to the Constitution, the laws and other regulations that comprise the legal system. In the case of proceedings requested by the Government to the attorney-general, the law establishes that the head of the public ministry decides in last instance on their viability or source. That is to say, the Government can’t give orders nor instructions to the prosecutors.

“The pro-independence you can use the expressions as you come in wins. It creates its own bubbles. I hope that sooner rather than later Puigdemont accountable to the Spanish justice, which is what you should do,” said Sanchez after his reference to the Prosecutor’s office. The expresident eloped has taken the opportunity that he has provided Sanchez with his words on the prosecutors to redouble their attacks against the Spanish democracy: “Sanchez confirms: there is no separation of powers,” he said on Twitter.

The Association of Prosecutors, the majority among the 2,500 members of the public ministry regretted in a statement: “ignorance of the functions conferred on the Prosecutor by one who makes such demonstrations, that does not conform to the reality and generate in the citizenry a confusion unacceptable”. The Prosecutor’s office “is independent and depends only on the law”, and “does not comply with the orders of the Government,” insists the press release.

The Union of Progressive public Prosecutors (UPF) has also recalled, in a message on Twitter, that “the Prosecutor’s office is autonomous from the Government, of any Government and this can not give orders to or to the Attorney General, that is clear”.

The Association of Professional Independent Prosecutors has also criticized the words of the president: “Sanchez is wrong. Can not give any order to the Prosecutor, according to the law: art. 8 of the Statute of the public Prosecutor. What better means breaking the law, but that is another story”, has written of this association on Twitter.

The vice-president of the Government on functions, Carmen Calvo, has come to pass of the controversy and has refused that Sanchez will interfere with the separation of powers, with its statements concerning the extradition of Carles Puigdemont. In statements to the press before participating in a ceremony at the Insituto Cervantes, Calvo has argued that although the Prosecution is encompassed in the judiciary, “it is not judicial power”, reports Europa Press.

Calvo explained that the Prosecution “has a link” with the Government in “criminal policy”. “The attorney-general appoints the Government, in the rest of the democracies also. And has an important link with the criminal policy of the government, in all the democracies of the world,” he recalled.

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