7th December 2019
Lluís Llach
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Catalan Trial: Day 37 summary

Two members of the European Parliament (MEPs) gave testimony in the morning session of day 37 of the Catalan Trial, hailing Raül Romeva as a ‘defender of human rights’, and assuring that the Catalan leaders pushed for an agreed referendum solution.

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

Ivo Vajgl, an MEP for Slovenia, and Ana Gomes, an MEP for Portugal, were both called to the Supreme Court by the defence teams of Oriol Junqueras and Romeva.

Vajgl was first to speak to the court, explaining that he considered Romeva to be a ‘defender of human rights’ and that their relationship involved conflict resolution.

‘I’ve always said that Mr. Romeva has always acted peacefully, defended dialogue, and that he has never mentioned violence as a way to resolve a problem,’ Vajgl told the court.

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‘We were collaborating about issues of peace and war in Syria and the Middle East,’ the former Slovenian foreign affairs minister explained.

‘The Catalan question was always present in the European Parliament. Everyone has their own opinion, mine would be to face the issue with dialogue.’

Speaking after Vajgl, Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes took to the stand. She and newly elected member of the Spanish Senate Raül Romeva [after 28 April elections] were both members of a sub-committee of defence in the European Parliament.

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‘I am absolutely convinced that Romeva is a true democrat and is in favour of human rights. Regarding the issue of Catalan independence, we spoke in private, but he was in favour of dialogue and an agreement,’ Gomes told the court.

Lluís Llach
Lluís Llach testifying in the Supreme Court on 29 April 2019.

The Portuguese politician explained she didn’t have the chance to speak with Oriol Junqueras or Raül Romeva about the referendum. However she did attend a conference that the Catalans gave on the Catalan question, and possible solutions.

‘In that conference, they spoke about a conflict that was already developing. I went to it because the ideas on how to solve it seemed interesting to me. They were pushing for an agreed referendum solution, like what we saw in Scotland,’ Gomes explained.

ALSO READ: Right to defence being undermined, say lawyers

After the MEPs, German MP Andrej Hunko testified in the Supreme Court. He said that he was invited to Catalonia by Diplocat, the diplomacy council of Catalonia, but affirmed that the visit was not to act as an official observer of the 1 October 2017 vote.

Hunko said the type of visit he made was common among international politicians, and that he didn’t meet with any Catalan politician before or after the vote.

‘We wrote a report [on the referendum], making particular mention of the violence from the Spanish police,’ Hunko explained. He also added that he paid for his visit to Barcelona personally.

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In the afternoon session, Catalan singer-songwriter and former pro-independence MP Lluís Llach testified, objecting ‘as a homosexual citizen and pro-independence supporter’ to being questioned by the lawyer of the far-right Vox party, which is the ‘popular prosecutor’ in the case.

‘I didn’t see any act of violence by protestors against police cars,’ said Llach, in reference to the protests on 20 September 2017, against Spanish police raids of Catalan government buildings.

Llach added: ‘We take to the streets because we know that the protests are peaceful, and should anyone engage in violent acts, we would leave them alone.’

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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