A Catalan independence leader from Carles Puigdemont’s party was sentenced to four years in prison for corruption

Laura Borras

Laura Borràs, former president of the Parliament of Catalonia and leader of Carles Puigdemont ‘s independence party, was sentenced this Thursday to 4 and a half years in prison for corruption, although the court proposed in its ruling a partial pardon that would prevent her from going to prison.

“The Court sentences Laura Borràs to 4 and a half years in prison for falsehood and 9 years of disqualification ” from holding public office for prevarication, said a press release from the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia in Barcelona.

The penalty is less than the six years in prison requested by the Prosecutor’s Office, which blamed this hard-line separatist for breaking up contracts for computer work for a total of more than 300,000 euros (around $320,000), to award them to a friend, when she directed the Institution of Catalan Letters (ILC), a public entity for the promotion of Catalan literature.

Given that he was not looking for “personal gain”, the court proposed to the Spanish government to grant Borràs a “partial pardon” to reduce his sentence to two years in prison, which would allow him to avoid jail.

In Spain, sentences of two years or less do not usually lead to imprisonment.

Borràs, 52, who has always maintained his innocence, said in a statement after the sentence was released that this “judicial aberration” is due to his fight for the independence of Catalonia.

“This sentence would never have been handed down if I were not who I am and represented what I represent“, but in any case, it will not “prevent me from continuing to work (…) for the independence of Catalonia,” Borràs said.

Representative of the hardest line of separatism, very critical of the dialogue between the current Catalan regional government and Madrid, the trial cost Borràs the suspension of her position as president of the Catalan Parliament in July 2022.

Borràs’s friend and alleged beneficiary of the 18 split contracts, Isaías Herrero, was sentenced to two years in prison as a “necessary cooperator” for the crime of forgery, and a third defendant, Andreu Pujol, to one year and two months in prison for having submitted to tenders that were really for Herrero.

Tanto Herrero como Pujol habían llegado a un acuerdo con la fiscalía para reconocer ante el tribunal las irregularidades y su coparticipación en ellas, a cambio de rebajas en sus penas.