24th May 2019
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Catalan Trial: Day 31 summary

A senior official from the Guardia Civil police was the first witness to take the stand in Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday morning, as week 10 and day 31 of the trial of the Catalan independence leaders began.

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

Commenting on the findings of the investigation into the preparations for the 2017 referendum, the official implicated a number of independence leaders, including former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell.

Forcadell was the ‘channel for passing [independence] laws,’ said the officer, who added that Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero was also an ‘essential figure in the pro-independence strategy’.

As the deputy of Daniel Baena, the lieutenant colonel in charge of the Guardia Civil’s judicial police at the time and who testified two weeks ago, the witness was involved in drawing up the reports providing the foundation for the case against the leaders.

ALSO READ: No election rallies or debates in prison for Catalans on trial

The ultimate goal of the pro-independence leaders was holding the referendum, the official told the court, adding: ‘The referendum had to be done in order to take the next step: declaring independence.’

The Supreme Court judges
Some of the Supreme Court judges, presided over by Manuel Marchena.

The officer also said that former Catalan government official Josep Maria Jové was a ‘key point’ for their investigation, and evidence seized in a raid of his home suggests that Jové ‘was the person who had to authorise the expenses to hold the referendum.’

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

‘Depending on Spain’s response, we’ll adjust the intensity of the conflict,’ the Guardia Civil official quoted from the documents seized from Jové, who was the right-hand man of former vice president Oriol Junqueras.

On Tuesday, and Wednesday, the court will also hear witness testimony from some 60 Spanish National Police riot officers who provided support on 1 October 2017, to the judicial police charged with shutting down polling stations and seizing voting material.

This is the last week of the trial before the Easter break, and court sources are now forecasting that the case will go on longer than expected, possibly until mid-June, with verdicts now expected to take place after the summer.

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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