24th May 2019
Defence lawyers in Supreme Court
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Catalan Trial: Day 40 summary

Day 40 of the Catalan Trial saw citizens and voters in the October 2017 referendum giving testimonies at Madrid’s Supreme Court. They were called to the court by the defence teams of Jordi Sànchez and Joaquim Forn, and mostly told the court about their experiences of Spanish police aggression on the day of the vote.

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

The first witness, Joan Porras, a well-known political activist in Catalonia and a voter in Manresa, told the court that the Catalan police (the Mossos d’Esquadra) came to his polling station to close it down and confiscated ballot boxes without causing any damage. He also told of the Spanish police beating the voters.

Virginia Martínez, who voted in Dosrius, told the court how a Guardia Civil officer threw her to the ground and she began to cry. The officer then grabbed her bag to find her ID, according to Martínez. ‘We were there to defend our right to vote,’ she explained.

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

Martínez also told the court that a police officer filmed her crying, insulting her and saying that she was acting ‘ridiculously’, calling her a ‘retard’.

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.

Next up was Pere Sitjà who also voted in Dosrius. He told the court how a Guardia Civil officer threw his wife to the ground as well as other people. ‘They began by throwing the women to the ground. Then they pushed us up against a wall,’ he said.

Carme Budé, also from Dosrius, said: ‘I knew the referendum was suspended, but I believe voting is the essence of democracy. I’d like to understand why it was prohibited.’ She also talked about tension leading up to the day of the vote.

Budé explained her initial plan was to go to the voting station only for a couple of hours, but then when videos of police violence began to emerge, she felt she couldn’t leave the polling station. ‘I didn’t want to go and leave my friends and neighbours there,’ she said.

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

Martí Carreras, a voter in Girona, said: ‘When we saw what was happening in other polling stations we became very nervous.’ He also told of how firefighters came to his voting station to protect the people from Spanish police.

Pere Font – an elderly man from Barcelona – said he was thrown to the ground by a Spanish police officer after being grabbed by the testicles. According to Font, an officer told him: ‘They sent us here to do this,’ after Font complained. He said a female police officer then punched him in the face.

All of days 40, 41, and 42 of the Catalan trial have been reserved for 50 testimonies of Catalan voters.

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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