22nd July 2019
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Catalan Trial: Day 33 summary

Day 33 of the Catalan trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid saw several more Spanish National Police officers giving their testimonies. They all answered questions about their experience on 1 October 2017, the Catalan referendum day, and about alleged violence by voters.

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

In the same way their colleagues had also testified, the Spanish police officers accused their Catalan counterparts (officers of the Mossos d’Esquadra) of inaction. ‘Whenever they saw us, they reported our arrival to someone and then left,’ said one member of Spain’s law enforcement.

Officers also denied all accusations of police use of force being disproportionate, and some even claimed that their operation to stop the referendum was ‘exemplary’.

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

Many of the testimonies from the police officers focused on referendum operations in the town of Lleida. One officer who intervened at a polling station in Lleida recalled a person in a wheelchair in the front line between the centre and the police, and that the crowd was becoming ‘more aggressive’.

Defence lawyers in Supreme Court
The defence lawyers in the Supreme Court, with some of the defendants sitting in the row behind on 26 March 2019.

He also said he didn’t see his colleagues’ batons ‘out of their holsters at any moment’.

Another officer taking part in the operation to stop the referendum taking place recalled the presence of ‘parents with young children’ outside a polling station in Lleida, something which he said ‘surprised him’.

‘I asked them to leave before intervening,’ he said.

ALSO READ: Right to defence being undermined, say lawyers

One deputy police inspector alleged seeing voters punch and kick officers. ‘When officers responded to the aggression, people raised their hands, saying: “We’re peaceful”,’ claimed the witness.

Another officer on the stand said that he was injured in the police operation in Lleida from being ‘punched and kicked’. Doctors put a splint on his finger and he kept working, he testified.

A further officer said that voters on referendum day ‘knew perfectly well what the had to do at any moment. Everything was organised, they were communicating via mobile phone,’ he said.

One officer who intervened at the CAP Cappont voting centre in Lleida called the operation ‘exemplary’, adding ‘I don’t remember any particular injuries, there wasn’t a massacre like some people say.’ Another alleged seeing ‘hatred’ in people’s faces at the polling station.

The trial will resume on Tuesday 23 March, after the Easter break.

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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