22nd July 2019
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Catalan Trial: Day 32 summary

On day 32 of the Catalan trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid, more Spanish National Police officers began testifying from 10am.

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

Tuesday also marks one and a half years since the first two Catalan pro-independence leaders were put in jail pending their trial.

Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, presidents of the main two civic organisations, the Catalan National Assembly (ACN) and Omnium Cultural respectively, were jailed on 16 October 2017.

They were accused of sedition – and then, rebellion – for their role during the independence bid, and particularly a demonstration against Spanish police raids to public buildings to dismantle the referendum logistics on 20 September 2017.

On Tuesday, the Spanish police witnesses talked about their experience on 1 October 2017, the referendum day, including alleged violence by voters.

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

Like their colleagues have been doing in the past few weeks, the officers testifying accused their Catalan police counterparts (the Mossos d’Esquadra) of inaction.

One Spanish police officer said he didn’t remember there being any Catalan law enforcement officers in the polling stations that he went to on referendum day. ‘They didn’t act at all,’ he claimed.

Another police officer who was present at the Pau Claris polling station on 1 October, where some of the more impactful footage of police violence was filmed, said that he was injured when he was ‘kicked in the hand’ by voters. ‘I hurt myself even more removing people,’ he said.

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

Another witness claimed that on the referendum day he saw former education minister Clara Ponsatí, accompanied by two men he claimed were Catalan police.

A further witness recalled the elderly being in the front line between the police and the polling station, and he also mentioned seeing a woman with a pram, yet without a baby in it.

ALSO READ: Right to defence being undermined, say lawyers

Another Spanish police officer said he was injured at a polling station in Tarragona when he was hit over the head with a ballot box.

The witness said voters at the Tarragona polling station were ‘pulling his clothes’ and that it was a ‘very violent atmosphere’. ‘My colleagues got hurt, but I didn’t see the attacks,’ claimed the officer.

During the afternoon session, another officer recalled there being ‘a lot of tension’ at a polling station in Tarragona, and said he suffered injuries to his shoulder from breaking down a door.

A further witness present at a polling station in Girona that also saw police violence admitted to ordering officers to use their batons, because they were attacked by ‘a great deal of people’.

The officer defended the use of batons at the Girona polling station as ‘perfectly legitimate’ and ‘proportionate’, justified to protect the agent’s ‘physical integrity’.

Further Spanish police officers testified to voters being ‘pretty violent’ at the Escola Verd polling station in Girona, with one witness claiming he was kicked in the groin.

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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