THE phrase in Spanis dar la vuelta la tortilla, which roughly translates as to turn the omelette, refers to causing a radical change in one’s fortune in a situation. Imagine a football match where a team is 2-0 down at half-time, and suddenly they turn the omelette, scoring three goals and winning the match.

In the last two weeks there have been some spectacular omelette-turning attempts by the Spanish judiciary, who ended up with egg on their faces after the failed extradition of exiled president Carles Puigdemont from Germany on a charge of rebellion.

The Schleswig-Holstein court rejected the European Arrest Warrant from the Supreme Court judge Llarena on the basis the alleged crimes did not fulfil the German definition rebellion. Not to be deterred by this setback, the prosecutor started preparing a new request on the charges of sedition and rebellion.

It seemed that someone was determined to use whatever accusation possible to get the president back to Spain, where nine Catalan politicians and activists are currently imprisoned.

The twin charges of sedition and misappropriation of funds are also falling to pieces after someone who would be expected to know about these things, ie the Spanish minister for the economy, rather surprisingly debunked the charge of misappropriation of funds and stated that not a cent of public money had been spent on the referendum. Then and only then did the civil guard come forward with a document that confirmed there had been no public money spent.

Of course this is only a continuation of a recent spate of charges for rebellion, sedition and terrorism against various critics and opponents of the government. As Spanish number two Soraya Saenz de Santamaria boasted in December, it was thanks to “Mariano Rajoy and the PP” that pro-independence forces had been “decapitated”. She did not, you will notice, attribute this victory to “the independent judiciary” of Spain.

Anyway, rather frustratingly for the PP and Mariano Rajoy, the dismembered body of Catalan independence keeps lurching on no matter how many times they lop its head off. The movement is showing no signs of surrendering to this “lawfare”, to use the term coined by Julian Assange.

Those of us who are critical of the government in this area were left delighted last week after the Supreme Court blew a hole the size of Catalonia in its own argument.

A Supreme Court tribunal concluded that: “if a significantly larger number of police had interfered on the October 1, it is highly likely that everything would have ended in a massacre and then it would be probable that the outcome of the European Arrest Warrant would have been different.”

Let’s leave aside the wholly inappropriate choice of words (some people seem to have decapitation and massacre on their minds) and focus on the two inherent admissions in this argument:

1. Since an increase in police numbers would have elevated the violence, it follows that the civil guard were responsible for the violence and not those currently imprisoned individuals.

2. If we accept that an elevated number of casualties and severity of injury would have resulted from more civil guard officers, it shows that there was intent to inflict injury and that the violence wasn’t a result of circumstances on the day.

All this aside, we can only guess why the Supreme Court thinks that inflicting mass murder on a civilian population would increase his chances of extraditing the exiled president. We are all poised for the next attempt to turn the omelette.

Bobby Irvine