23rd September 2019
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Catalan Trial: Day 20 summary

Day 20 of the trial of Catalan pro-independence leaders accused of organising the 2017 referendum began with 10 more Guardia Civil police officers summoned as witnesses.

Catalan Trial: click here full details of those accused, the charges, and the accusers.

The first officer spoke about allegedly incriminating material found during raids of public buildings – and specifically a raid at the economy ministry on 20 September 2017. The officer said documents were seized that showed the Catalan government was preparing to fund and organise Catalonia as an independent country.

ALSO READ: Catalan trial: controversy over ‘rebellion’ and violence

In his testimony, the officer claimed evidence was discovered that the Catalan vice president, Pere Aragonès, who was then the economy secretary, was traveling abroad looking for international funding, and he mentioned a trip Aragonès made to Slovenia.

Meanwhile, said the officer, the then finance secretary, Lluís Salvadó, was preparing to levy all taxes through the Catalan administration.

The officer also said an email showed a request for 11 billion euros from China to fund the first steps of an independent Catalonia, while an invoice to the IBM company was found for240,000 euros to develop a programme for levying taxes through the Catalan tax office.

ALSO READ: Trial focus: Manuel Marchena on a ‘prestige’ tightrope

The officer said that police also found documents relating to the levying of taxes, customs, and land registry, among others.

Another officer who testified on Thursday said he had been part of a raid on the Unipost postal service, where police found boxes of envelopes with the Catalan government logo, containing letters informing citizens they had been picked as polling station officers.

He said outside the Unipost warehouse ‘some 500 protestors’ were’yelling’ at the agents and ‘insulting’ them.

‘For the first time in my professional career I saw the reflection of hatred,’ he added.

ALSO READ: ‘Fairy trap’ goes viral after Enric Millo’s testimony

Supreme Court judges
Supreme Court judges, presided by Manuel Marchena.

Another Guardia Civil officer speaking at the trial compared the protests in favour of the 2017 Catalan referendum to the Basque conflict at a time when the terrorist group ETA was active.

The officer, who withheld his name, testified as witness to the protests during a raid in a warehouse in Bigues i Riells, where nearly ten million ballot papers for the referendum were confiscated.

‘The officers who lived through the Basque conflict told me its beginnings were similar to [the September 2017 Catalan pro-referendum protests]. The people, the faces of hatred … ‘

ALSO READ: Right to defence being undermined, say lawyers

Yet he admitted he had never worked on any operation in the Basque Country during the ETA years.

‘It was normal to be scared, people were furious,’ he added on the 19 September 2017 protests.

‘[Protesters] told us ‘we are going to kill you’,’ he added in his testimony. ‘They had extreme hatred against us, they spat on us, threw water on us … ‘

Yet when asked by defence lawyers about whether any footage of the day included the death threats, he responded: ‘Not that I remember.’

He also admitted at the defence teams’ request that no police officers were injured that day.

In all, 10 Guardia Civil police officers were due to testify as witnesses in the Supreme Court on Thursday, to give testimony on their part in the operation to dismantle the logistics of the referendum, which included raids of public buildings, private companies and homes.

Catalan Trial: click here full details of those accused, the charges, and the accusers.

Click here for all articles and updates on the Catalan Trial

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