Javier Elola, Attorney General of the Republic, who became a symbol of Franco’s repression of judicial careers.

Let the people, who are my supreme court, punish me if I do not fulfill my duty. Francisco Javier Ellola (Monforte de Lemos, 1877) said these words in 1931 at a meeting with his Galician compatriots in Madrid, after being appointed Attorney General of the Republic. His will was not fulfilled. Eight years later, at five o’clock in the morning on May 12, 1939, he was shot in Barcelona’s Camp de la Bota after a mock trial and execution. Before his death, he wrote down his desire to undergo the summary procedure for which he was sentenced to death in the restoration of democracy, as his grandson Javier Elola revealed at a book launch in Madrid this Wednesday. Illuminates the life and work of the grandfather.

This long-awaited judicial review never took place – the new law of memory does set out to annul the judgments and decrees of Franco’s courts. But 84 years later, Ellola has received at least some kind of recompense for institutional neglect at the same headquarters of the institution he presided over for just three months after resigning to be appointed a Supreme Court judge. The presentation of the work “In memory of Francisco Javier Elola” (Tirant Lo Blanch) was held at the State Attorney General’s Office, which was attended by the Prosecutor of the Chamber of Democratic Memory Dolores Delgado and a large representation of judges, prosecutors and other personalities. the judicial sphere.

His grandson, who was born 12 years after the execution, praised such actions, which he believes are “a necessary step for true reconciliation between the Spanish people.” “This act is not only about recognition and justice, it also unites us all,” said Javier Ellola, who ended his speech with a proclamation in favor of a “democratic and inclusive Spain” and managed to bring the entire room to its feet. Long applause.

For nearly two hours, various speakers discussed the figure of Elola, who was also a judge and a politician. And, in fact, he made both tasks compatible. things of that time. He was elected deputy to the founding Cortes in June 1931 by the Radical Party of Alejandro Lero, a republican, anti-clerical and anti-Catalan. In 1933, coinciding with the right-wing turn of this formation, Elola became an independent republican deputy, as the prosecutor Cesar Estirado, coordinator of the work recalls in the book.

Estirado defined Elola as an “authentic intellectual” and highlighted his contributions in all areas of jurisdiction. He recalled, for example, his rulings preventing the eviction of tenants who failed to pay rent or annual increases the landlord wanted to impose. The book recalls that he gave judgment against a hydrophobic landlord, reminding him that the act of bathing could not be the basis of sanctions against his tenants.

Despite his conservative ideas, his “transgressive for the time” proposals were also surprising, especially those concerning women and the less wealthy classes, explained historian María Torres, who said that “memory is the only alternative to imposed silence.” “Don’t forget your moral obligation.” “Intolerance threatens minorities, refugees…” – he argued.

Dolores Delgado, a prosecutor at the Chamber of Human Rights and Democratic Memory, highlighted the “solid training and thinking” of Elola, who, she said, “was punished only for being a judge, loyal and law-abiding.” He emphasized his “extraordinary training in thought and work.” And he said that “he is part of an innumerable group of men and women who only make a stamp of quality as a country that deserves to be recognized and respected.”

Delgado also highlighted the fact that Elola had already warned against “judicial oligarchy and the government of judges” at the time, saying judges should also “submit to popular sovereignty.” In fact, the book shows how in his parliamentary interventions he defended the modernization and renewal of the judiciary, away from any corporate inertia. “These are absolute words because of their prophetic nature,” prosecutor Estirado says in the prologue.

Summary against Panjul

Elola became an instructor against General Joaquín Fanjul as the person most responsible for the military coup in Madrid. He refused this procedure precisely because he did not recognize the limitations imposed on him, since the person under investigation was not allowed to use all the evidence he tried to use. “He is a real reference for judges and prosecutors. He was very clear that the judge and the prosecutor should strictly adhere to the facts and the law, without allowing the political views and mentality of the accused to interfere. I would like many to come close to his figure,” Estirado added.

The event also featured an intervention by Constitutional Court Magistrate Ramon Saez, who is involved in the book. “This is an act of justice, this is the reintegration into our society of those who have been violently expelled and, moreover, rejected. The state and the prosecution had a symbolic, cultural and emotional debt to him,” said the magistrate, who named Elola as a “representative” of a “fascinating group of lawyers of the Republic” who were killed or died in exile. He also mentioned Luis Jimenez de Asua and Felipe Sánchez-Roman, among others.

The judge of the National Court, José Ricardo de Prada, also gave a speech and signed another chapter of the work. He particularly emphasized his contribution to the construction of the judiciary in the Second Republic and his concern for the autonomy and independence of judges. Issues that are still very relevant more than eight decades later.

Source: El Diario

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