23rd September 2019
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Catalan Trial: Day 25 summary

Protestors ‘violently attacked’ police carrying out a raid on the far-left CUP party HQ on 20 September 2017, the head of the information unit of the Spanish police in Catalonia during the independence bid told the Supreme Court on Tuesday, on day 25 of the Catalan trial – now in its 8th week.

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

The first witness to testify said that Spanish police were called to the CUP party HQ on the day at the request of the public prosecutor, after ‘propaganda’ for the 1 October referendum had been detected there.

According to the officer’s testimony, the conduct of the Spanish police was ‘meticulously measured’ but after the initially ‘festive’ protest became aggressive, Spanish police were ‘surrounded’ and forced to fire ‘blank shots in order to get out’.

The officer said ’72 Spanish police officers were injured’ during the operation to stop the referendum on 1 October 2017, and he accused the Catalan police (the Mossos d’Esquadra) of being ‘passive’, and even ‘hindering’ their work, although he also admitted ‘there are great professionals’.

The officer also spoke of ‘harassment’ by protestors at the hotels where his colleagues were staying, describing them as ‘serious incidents’, and he added that a Spanish police officer was hit over the head with a referendum ballot box.

Referring to the days after the vote, the officer described as a ‘general riot’ a major protest on 3 October 2017, called to condemn police violence during the referendum: ‘We were besieged by 15,000 people with a clear intimidatory aim,’ he added.

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

Referring to the coordination between the Spanish and Catalan police, the witness said Spanish police were expected to ‘support’ the Catalan police during the operation to stop the independence referendum, only intervening at the latter’s request.

Yet he told the court that the Catalan police spied on their Spanish counterparts during the independence referendum, warning voters ahead of their arrival, and described a ‘growing climate of distrust’ towards the Mossos d’Esquadra Catalan police.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court hearing of the Catalan trial on 2 April 2019.

Afternoon session

Pro-independence activist leader, Jordi Cuixart, ‘undermined’ the work of local police who had confiscated publicity material in the run-up to the 2017 referendum, an officer giving witness testimony told the Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon.

The officer from the city of Badalona, just outside Barcelona, described how the head of the Òmnium Cultural organisation placed himself in front of their vehicle, preventing them from taking the material away.

Referring to 45 posters with messages such as ‘Hello Republic’, ‘Hello New Country’ and ‘Hello Europe’, the witness said the local police officers put the posters in the trunk of their car, despite the mayor of Badalona telling them they needed judicial permission to do so.

ALSO READ: Right to defence being undermined, say lawyers

‘Then Jordi Cuixart came with a local councillor,’ the officer said, adding: ‘He suggested to me that we could turn a blind eye to it.’ The officer said the councillor ignored his instructions not to take the posters out of the trunk, and Cuixart then helped distribute them.

‘People were recording us and telling us we would be kicked out of Catalonia after the referendum. And Cuixart was among the people gathered there,’ the Badalona police officer said, adding: ‘It was a tense situation.’

However, when pressed by the defence, the witness admitted that Cuixart did not insult the police officers, and he also confirmed that the posters did not have the Catalan government logo or make any mention of the referendum.

The case was closed by Barcelona’s provincial court, which absolved José Téllez – the individual who removed the posters from the police car’s trunk.

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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