Junts sues the company that investigated whether there was harassment in its parliamentary group

Junts per Catalunya has filed a complaint for alleged insults against the three workers of the external company that prepared a report as a result of the complaint of harassment by the non-attached deputy Cristina Casol, who was expelled from JxCat, against the then president of her parliamentary group.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
01 April 2024 Monday 22:25
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Junts sues the company that investigated whether there was harassment in its parliamentary group

Junts per Catalunya has filed a complaint for alleged insults against the three workers of the external company that prepared a report as a result of the complaint of harassment by the non-attached deputy Cristina Casol, who was expelled from JxCat, against the then president of her parliamentary group. , Albert Batet.

Three workers, a lawyer and two psychologists, are summoned to testify as being investigated on April 12 in the 29th Court of Instruction of Barcelona, ​​which admitted the complaint for processing.

The decision to file a complaint was adopted following the report prepared by this external company at the request of the Parliament of Catalonia, after Casol activated the protocol provided for cases of harassment of the institution. Once there was a resolution, in which it was pointed out that the reported facts could not be proven, it was leaked to the press both that there had been a complaint, in the first instance, and the report, in which some considerations were made about the internal climate. of the party and there was talk of machismo in the formation. In theory, the entire process should be confidential, especially if in the end the complaint was filed and no sanction was imposed.

For this reason, Junts consider that "it is a report with bias and lack of foundation that should have focused on facts and ended up drawing general and offensive conclusions without foundation, motivation, or factual support," they point out from Carles Puigdemont's party.

In the report, the sources consulted point out, there are "statements that generalized against the party and the parliamentary group", which were not the subject of a complaint. The complaint, as recommended by the Parliament's equality technique, as expressed by Casol herself in an interview, was directed against the president of the group, Albert Batet.

"We understand that it is a violation of rights since this generalization is made without the party being able to defend itself and without further investigation than taking a statement from a few deputies," point out JxCat sources, who believe that there is "excess of functions and intentionality because statements are made that are harmful to the party. "The report that was supposed to be confidential and ended up archived was leaked to the media, also after it was known that it was the adverse result," these sources conclude.

In addition to Casol, who was a leader very close to the president of Junts, Laura Borràs, and after being expelled decided to continue as a non-attached deputy instead of handing over the minutes, Aurora Madaula, who was second secretary of the Junts, also filed a complaint. Mesa and is also a leader related to the president of the party. Casol activated the protocol in November; Madaula did so at the beginning of the year, although in November she made a complaint from the lectern of the Parliament in a public event a few days after being disavowed by her formation.

Casol has reacted when the Junts complaint became known. "This is second-order violence and consists of the persecution carried out against the people who support the victims of sexist violence, and the persecution of the organization that investigated the events," he criticized. Also the Minister of Equality and Feminisms, Tània Verge, who from the Parliament had a prominent role in drafting the protocol against violence and harassment, has criticized JxCat's maneuver.

"It is very serious that, with this complaint, Junts is not only trying to discredit the Parliament's anti-harassment protocol, an instrument that few chambers have, but that external and independent professionals of the institution who provide more guarantees to the protocol are attacked," the counselor has highlighted.

The spokesperson for Esquerra Republicana, Raquel Sans, in turn, has shown her "support for professionals who ensure women's rights: workers and deputies of the Parliament." "To report them is to attack us all. It is to destroy a tool that has cost a lot to obtain and that protects us," added Sans.

The legal services did not comment on the protocol when it was approved in 2021. However, a few weeks ago they did question it in a report requested by the Board, after JxCat asked to review the protocol.

Specifically, the sanctioning regime included in the protocol is questioned and it is noted that it can generate legal uncertainty. Likewise, the lawyers consider that the appointment of independent experts "is not ideal" as it is "ad hoc", this is ad hoc depending on the case and that it is the equality technique of the Chamber that decides in each case which boarding commission will take the case.