22nd July 2019
Defence lawyers Xavier Melero and Andreu Van den Eynde
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Catalan Trial: Day 41 summary

Day 41 of the Catalan Trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid again witnessed a number of Catalan voters relating their experiences of 1 October 2017, the Catalan referendum day, as well as an official at the Barcelona port who said he was not told Spanish officers were lodging in ships docked there.

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

One witness from BadalonaGuillem Galcerán, testified that Catalan police (the Mossos d’Esquadra) made sure his polling station was closed, thus refuting allegations that the Catalan law enforcement body was too lenient on the day of the referendum.

Marga Borràs, from the Tarragona region, recalled Catalan police repeatedly trying to close down her polling station ahead of the referendum, but they were unable to do so as it was packed with hundreds of people.

Agustí Valls, from La Pobla de Mafumet, also in the Tarragona region, recalled occupying the polling station ahead of the 1 October vote in order to prevent police from closing it down: ‘I’m a musician and I brought my saxophone, others played the guitar, so we all sang together,’ he said.

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Josep Lluís Torres, who voted in Barcelona, testified that referendum voters were ‘happy’ until they found out that ‘Spanish police were attacking people less than a kilometre away from us’.

Joan Torres, a voter in Palau d’Anglesola, described the atmosphere as ‘festive’ and said the people told the Catalan police they would try to impede them but without violence, and pointed out there were no incidents of violence at his polling station.

Another witness, Antoni Sala, denied knowing who opened his polling centre in Palau d’Anglesola, or who delivered the referendum material. He said people gathered at the door to impede the Catalan police and that there was no violence at the polling station.

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Next witness was Alfons Barceló, who said the referendum day coincided with the biggest festival of his town, Alforja. He said he saw Catalan police at and near his polling station but denied there were any violent incidents.

Defence lawyers Xavier Melero and Andreu Van den Eynde
Defence lawyers Xavier Melero and Andreu Van den Eynde listen to witnesses on 10 April 2019 at the Supreme Court.

Joaquim Maria Palau said that people gathered in his polling station in Barcelona decided to let police pass if they arrived, to ‘protect’ the school material. He said he was told that volunteers had set up the polling station.

Maria Rosa Arboix said Catalan police were unable to enter her polling station in Lliçà de Vall. Like other witnesses, the ‘popular prosecutor’, the far-right Vox party, asked if she had to register herself anywhere to vote in the referendum, which she said she didn’t have to.

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Another witness, Carles Valls, said he personally took a ballot box inside the polling station, but he didn’t know who brought the box to the station. He also explained that Catalan police were present and there were no acts of violence.

Jordi Vidal said he didn’t see the Catalan police arrive, but saw there were a lot of people blocking the entrance. He said the police mediated and spoke with the people. He also remembered a tractor blocked a road near the polling station.

Isabell Castell said there weren’t any violent incidents at her polling station apart from some ‘far-right’ people throwing stones at one point. She explained there was a huge amount of social movement keeping the polling stations open.

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Josep Marimon said the people at his voting station in Vilanova del Vallès peacefully resisted the Catalan police’s attempts to close the station, and that voting material was already in the centre by the time he arrived.

Next witness, Josep Grima, said the people of Calella had no issues with the Spanish police who were staying in a hotel in the town. But he explained there was a ‘nervousness’ in the town when the Spanish police ‘unloaded all their weapons’ in broad daylight.

Grima also explained that he saw ballot boxes being brought into the voting centre but couldn’t recognise who carried them in, as it was ‘dark and they were wearing buffs’ covering their faces.

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The next witness said he was at a school polling station all day, and that the people of Llinars del Vallès closed it. ‘I didn’t see how the ballot boxes were brought to the voting station,’ he explained.

The next witness also voted in Llinars del Vallès, and he said Catalan police tried to enter the polling station but were unable to due to the large number of people blocking the doors.

Montse Higueras, who voted in Barcelona, explained that the Catalan police told them the referendum couldn’t go ahead, but that the voters ‘peacefully’ resisted and went ahead with the vote anyway. ‘Between us, the neighbours self-organised ourselves,’ she explained.

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The next witness ‘absolutely’ denied any sort of violence or aggressive behaviour from voters in her polling station, and said it was a day she would always remember for the ‘excitement’ of taking part in such a democratic process.

The final witness of the day was José Alberto Carbonell, an official at the Barcelona port. He said the requests for two ships that accommodated Spanish police officers ahead of the vote was rejected as the port wasn’t designed to hold ‘hotel ships’.

Carbonell explained that he wasn’t told Spanish police were going to be lodged in the ships. He eventually authorised their docking after he was informed they were state ships.

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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