The judge has archived the case that she opened against the former mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau after two complaints that accused of hate crimes and prevarication to suspend the City Hall relations with Israellast February, in protest of his policy with Palestine.
The head of the investigating court number 5 of Barcelona rules out that the decree of Colau supposes a “direct or indirect incitement to hatred” against the Israeli people and that the former mayor did not have the power to agree to the suspension of relations with Israel.
The investigation stems from a complaint filed by lawyers Francesc Jufresa and Ferran Grases and a complaint from Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM), after Colau decreed the temporary suspension of relations with Tel Aviv and the twinning with the cities of Tel Aviv and Gaza, which former mayor Joan Clos approved in 1998.
Rules out “hate crime”
The complainants maintained that Colau had committed a hate crime in the letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister and the Israeli Embassy stating that the City Council temporarily suspended relations with the country for the policy of annexation of territories and the violation of human rights against the Palestinian population.
Even so, the judge considers that, “whether the communication to the Israeli authorities in relation to the conflict with Palestine is politically opportune or not,” it is “considerations” in relation to Israel and its official institutions that do not fit into hate crime.
In relation to the lack of powers cited in the complaints, the instructor recalls that the twinning with Tel Aviv and Gaza It was agreed by another mayor, the socialist Joan Clos, “in the framework of cooperation fostered by the Oslo peace agreements” between Israel and the PLO.
“A political issue”
In these relations of cooperation between the two cities, the mayor has intervened on behalf of Barcelona, says the judge, who concludes that Colau’s decision is “a matter of a political nature that will have to be assessed through the mechanisms of municipal activity“.
In any case, the interlocutor points out, this issue would have to be resolved within the framework of a administrative Procedure to resolve whether the decree suspending relations with Israel “falls within the powers granted to the mayor by the Municipal Charter of Barcelona.”
Likewise, the magistrate warns the complainants that they have not alleged the reasons why the mayor’s decision should have been made. submitted to the plenary session of the City Council, another of the reasons on which they based their accusation of prevarication against Ada Colau. Last September, the new mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, signed a decree to reestablish the relations of the consistory with Israel.
The complaint over the suspension of relations with Israel meant the fifth criminal investigation that was opened against Colau for events linked to his mandate: two for supposedly pressuring investment funds to allocate their homes to social rental, one for the alleged arbitrary granting of subsidies to related entities and another for projecting the “superilles” in the Eixample of the Catalan capital .