Spain’s public prosecutor is monitoring ever closer measures taken by the Catalan government and parliament related to the independence process. According to Barcelona’s 'La Vanguardia' newspaper, the objective is to block any initiative that might advance the independence process. Spain’s attorney general, José Manuel Maza, leads a group of prosecutors analysing the information available about the government and parliament’s movements on a daily basis. Maza himself has implicitly confirmed that much, stating to journalists that it’s an “on-going matter”. The attorney general did not want to give any further explanation, but did clarify that the prosecutors’ office is working to ensure that “the law is followed”.
Previously, the public prosecutor had waited for the Constitutional Court to act before pressing charges for allegred crimes of disobedience. Now, the directions followed by the prosecutors are that a more executive phase has started and that they must act to uphold the law. In fact, the new strategy implies that they no longer need to wait for the court’s verdicts to open proceedings against those who promote actions related to the separatist movement. An example was the investigation started by the prosecutor into advertising by the Catalan government, as well as the promotion of the new register of Catalans who reside abroad.
As part of this, according to Madrid’s 'El País' newspaper the prosecutor has started to request information from all companies contracted by the Catalan government to move forward with the disconnection process. As such, on Friday, they sent the Guardia Civil gendarmerie to make demands of some twenty technology, consultancy and cybersecurity companies to provide information about contracts with the Catalan government to set up two of the agencies required for the new state: the intelligence services and the tax office.
These companies now have eight day to hand over to the Guardia Civil all the information they have on the government contracts. If they fail to comply, they risk committing crimes of disobedience or misappropriation of government funds. The public ministry has asked them to name the people in their companies who are involved, as well as the the government official that contracted them and any civil servants who possibly supervised the contracts. The public prosecutor also requires the businesses to detail the initial, final and set-up costs of the computer applications or consultancy reports commissioned by the Catalan government.