21st July 2019
1 October 2017
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Catalan Trial: Day 42 summary

Day 42 of the Catalan Trial at Spain’s Supreme Court witnessed more testimonies from a number of Catalan citizens who voted on 1 October 2017.

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

The first witness said that the Catalan police (the Mossos d’Esquadra) were at his voting station in Caldes de Montbui all day, but denied any suggestion of violence there.

The ‘popular prosecutor’, the far-right Vox party, questioned the next witness on the logistics of voting. The witness said people at the polling station asked for IDs, crossed names out of people who had already voted, but he didn’t think they were official government workers.

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Antoni Altaló testified next, from Caldes de Montbui. He said he woke up very early to vote and arrived at 6.30am, and there was an elderly couple sitting on camping seats outside the station waiting to get in before him. He also said the Catalan police were at the station all day.

Altaló said the police came to fulfill their court-ordered duties, but the people organised and resisted the closure of the centre. He described the entire referendum day as a ‘collective, unitary act’, in relation to offering peaceful obstacles to police.

1 October 2017
Spanish Guardia Civil break the door of a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis, where former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to vote, on 1 October 2017, on the day of a referendum on independence for Catalonia banned by Madrid. (Lluis Gene / AFP)

The next witness said there was no violence in her voting station in Vic, but one incident of a person running around the polling station with a Spanish flag wrapped around him. After, he then voted in the referendum.

Carme Baqué, a voter in Sant Miquel de Balenyà, testified next and said that at a school she didn’t actually vote in but had visited, ‘5 police vans arrived’ and confiscated the ballot boxes.

Xavier Figuerola explained the system of voting: ‘There was a very small web page, you just put in your ID number, and the system returned a message whether or not you had voted already.’

Antoni Caralt spoke about going to another polling station that he didn’t vote in, but to see if he could help in any way, ‘organising things, put order on queues’. He said there weren’t any officials there, only volunteers working in the centres.

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

Rosa Poch voted in Vallbona de l’Anoia and said the Catalan police arrived and asked who was in charge, and ‘spontaneously’ the voters said everybody was. She said the voters raised their hands in the air and tried to impede the police from entering.

Venanci Saborit said: ‘That day I was ready to vote. I understood we were living through a political conflict,’ before the courtroom president Manuel Marchena cut him off to remind him to only speak about events of the day of the vote.

ALSO READ: Jailed Catalans request release to be sworn in as MPs

Josep Joventeny testified and explained that he voted in Barcelona. When the Catalan police arrived, they saw how difficult it would be to enter, and left, according to Joventeny. He said the voting material was brought in during the night and the person who brought it then left very quickly.

Nemesio Fuentes, a retired National Police officer who voted in the referendum, spoke about the ‘aggressive’ manner the Guardia Civil police arrived to stop the referendum voting.

‘At no point did the Spanish police explain what they were doing. They attacked my three sons. Nobody attacked the police, bar one citizen who threw a chair at them, but I feel the officer didn’t fall from the chair, but from the glass.’

The trial will resume on Monday 13 May from 10am.

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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