State Repression and Police Intimidation in Catalonia
" It is not surprising that they were forced into a plea bargain. The Audiencia Nacional has a dubious reputation in Spain for it highly politicised judgments. This is the court responsible for initiating the prosecution of the Catalan political prisoners before their cases were passed to the Supreme Court for trial. In the sense that it is designed to represent the political establishment, the court inherited the mantle of Franco’s notorious Public Order Tribunal. The court explicitly deals with issues of conflict deemed to be ‘political’. The Audiencia Nacional has been condemned frequently in the European Court of Human Rights for a string of wrongful imprisonment cases and miscarriages of justice. It has, for example, convicted a group of activists who burned pictures of the Spanish king; and notoriously it was responsible for the false conviction of eleven Pakistani men who spent six years in prison for terrorism before they were finally released. "