Josep Lluís Alay is a history professor at the University of Barcelona who works as Office Manager for the president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, who was illegally deposed by the Spanish government in 2017 following a self-organized referendum on self-determination for Catalonia. This was intended to force Spain to negotiate and provide a democratic outlet for the Catalan people’s desire to exercise sovereignty with a referendum to determine the percentage of Catalans who wanted independence. Spain has refused to negotiate anything and is fraudulently using the judicial system to try to destroy a totally legitimate political movement.
As an emblematic example of the recurrent persecution of Catalan pro-independence activists, Alay is the subject of wild accusations. For example, the Spanish police allegedly discovered the preparation of an invasion of 10,000 Russian soldiers, supported by the Kremlin, to achieve Catalan independence. The incriminating evidence was a document recovered by the police that turned out to be a translation of a Russian espionage novel commissioned from Alay (who is very multilingual) by a Catalan publisher.
He was also arrested in Germany, at Spain’s request, for accompanying Puigdemont on a return trip from Finland, without specific charges being brought against him.
What is more, Alay is accused of having travelled to New Caledonia at the invitation of pro-independence Kanaks as an international observer of one of the self-determination referendums held in the archipelago. He is accused of having spent the cost of the plane ticket. This participation gave credibility to the referendum process in New Caledonia organized by the French authorities; therefore, they should consider Mr. Alay as their guest. For France´s honour´s sake, Alay should not be bothered on this account.
Another charge of embezzlement concerns a highway toll of 11 euros paid by Alay and charged to the Catalan government to visit Catalan political prisoners.
For these last two trips, the Spanish prosecutor is asking for 3 years in jail and 17 years of disqualification! This is reminiscent of the accusation against Puigdemont of embezzlement of public funds for the referendum, when the Spanish Minister of Economy, Mr. Montoro, admitted that he was sure that no embezzlement that could be attributed to Puigdemont had taken place.
It is ironic that Catalan leaders are being prosecuted for embezzlement of public funds in a country where it is common knowledge that the king and members of the royal family have embezzled public funds, demanded bribes for oil contracts…. If corruption were really the judge’s concern, he should start with the Popular Party and the royal family. The reality is that the Spanish judicial system has abandoned impartiality and has put itself at the service of the unity of the homeland threatened by Catalan independence.
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