24th May 2019
Xavier Trias
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Catalan Trial: Day 39 summary

Day 39 and week 13 of the Catalan Trial started at the Supreme Court in Madrid with the testimony of a union representative of the Catalan police (the Mossos d’Esquadra), Josep Guillot, who said that he didn’t see any political ‘interference’ to the police’s work over the 2017 Catalan referendum.

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

The proceedings started with a total of seven Catalan police witnesses, including two carried over from last week – Guillot, first to testify, as well and the superintendent responsible for Barcelona and the rest of central Catalonia, Sergi Pla.

Guillot said that as legal police, they have always ‘obeyed the judges and prosecution’.

Sergi Pla said they didn’t have the [Catalan police] manpower to comply with the court order to stop the referendum. ‘For the Catalan police covering all polling stations, it was an enormous task,’ he said.

Ireneu Alvarado was next to testify, a teacher who voted in the referendum in Dosrius. He spoke of receiving several bruises and damage to his ribs after Spanish police entered the polling station that he was in. ‘Many people had their shirts ripped and bloodied,’ he said.

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

Testifying next was a Catalan police agent from the homicide unit, who had been present at a polling station in Can Figueres. He told the courtroom that he hadn’t heard any death threats or see any aggression on behalf of the voters towards the Spanish police on 1 October 2017.

‘The first thing we did after the Spanish police operation was bring the injured people to a nearby plaza and request the ambulance assistance from the regional ward. I don’t know if the voting continued in the centre,’ the Catalan police agent explained.

ALSO READ: Jordi Sànchez: ‘Nothing we’ve seen in our trial justifies prison’

Another Catalan police agent then took to the stand. He was present at the 20 September 2017 protests outside the Catalan economy building. He testified that he was asked to mount a cordon to help the judicial council leave the building and that the cordon of volunteers was additional.

The agent said that at first Jordi Sànchez [one of the defendants] was ‘haughty and arrogant’, demanding the mobile police units be recalled, but in the next conversation he had with him, Sànchez’s attitude had completely changed and he had a conciliatory and collaborative attitude.

ALSO READ: ‘Fairy trap’ goes viral after Enric Millo’s testimony

‘I allowed Mr. Sànchez and Mr. [Jordi] Cuixart [another one of the defendants] to help us and they did, and did so quite well because the area was vacated quickly,’ said the agent.

Xavier Trias
Former Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, testifying in the Supreme Court on 6 May 2017.

Former Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias started his testimony at the end of the morning’s session. The pro-independence EU election candidate had been called by the defence teams of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart to also testify about the events of 20 September 2017 – the demonstration two weeks before the contested independence referendum where prosecutors believe that they incited violence.

Trias said in court that he ‘didn’t see anyone’ displaying violent behaviour among the protestors in autumn 2017, and gave credit to the prosecuted pro-independence leaders for that.

‘The people had an activist attitude, peaceful, calm, national activism … but above all, peaceful,’ said Trias.

ALSO READ: The ‘Jordis’ can now appeal to EU Court of Human Rights

Pere Miralles, a member of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) who was present during the protests against police raids on 20 September 2017, testified in the afternoon, and said that ‘people held us in great esteem because we guaranteed civic demonstrations’.

Jordi Vilarasau, a former member of the ANC leadership, also testified, stating that Jordi Sànchez ‘always defended non-violent actions’ when acting as president of the association during the independence crisis.

Finally, the general secretary of the Catalonia branch of Spain’s largest trade union (CCOO), Javier Pacheco, who was one of the organisers of the rally on 20 September 2017, said that union members protested during the police raids because ‘they were undermining Catalonia’s self-government’.

The Supreme Court hearings will resume on Tuesday from 10 am. The court is expected to hear testimonies from dozens of members of the public who voted in the October referendum about their experiences at the polling stations. More than 50 Catalan voters have been called to take part.

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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