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    Catalan Ex-Minister Bassa in court: "Independence was proposed as something to be negotiated"


    There was a change of strategy by Dolors Bassa with respect to Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva, her party colleagues in the 1-O government. In a very measured, moderate, and calm tone, resorting to few political statements, the former Catalan Labor...

    There was a change of strategy by Dolors Bassa with respect to Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva, her party colleagues in the 1-O government. In a very measured, moderate, and calm tone, resorting to few political statements, the former Catalan Labor Minister replied to questions posed by prosecutor Fidel Cadena and the State Attorney, while her fellow ERC members opted to stick to their own attorney's questions only. She did not respond, however, to the popular accusation represented by the far right Vox party "out of respect for the women of Spain." "Zero tolerance," she said about the party that is seeking 74 years in prison for her. The public prosecutor is asking for 16 years in prison and disqualification for rebellion aggravated by misappropriation of public funds.

    Bassa pointed out that she does not believe that holding a referendum is a crime, but gave a different account of the path followed by the Government leading up to October 1. "Independence was always considered as something to be negotiated. Evidence of that is the fact that we are here and we are not independent," she said, framing the referendum as an "act that was not conclusive" for independence, but rather a way of acting that would "lead to dialogue, negotiation, and agreement". The ex-Minister framed it within a context in which the Junts pel Sí [Together for Yes] parliamentary group had reached a dead end in its agreement with the CUP and, after considering whether to go to snap elections, the "consensus" decision was "to hold a referendum as a form of commitment by the institutions to the people."

    Bassa was also the first to recognize the "authority" of the Spanish Constitutional Court (CC) and assured that all decisions of the Catalan government were suspended after receiving notification of suspension of the laws of Transition and Referendum. However, she admitted that the measures were not reversed and framed it as a "legal jurisdictional conflict" with the State, as is the case with other conflicting laws between the Spanish government and the autonomous administrations —she listed up to 18 conflicts just within her department. "We did not believe that it was a crime [to call a referendum], as the Spanish government had not resolved some of the rulings," she said, in this case in line with the rest of the defendants, supporting her argument in the decriminalization referendums that was carried out in the reform of the Spanish criminal code in 2005.

    1-O, the first time she heard talk about a unilateral declaration of independence

    In response to her lawyer, Mariano Bergés, she defined the October 27 declaration of independence as a "political and peaceful act" and specified that "absolutely nothing was done" in order to pursue independence afterward: it wasn't even communicated to international organizations or to embassies. She also said that when the Together for Yes coalition ran in the elections, its platform did not include unilateral independence. "The first time I saw the possibility of a declaration of independence was in the messages between president Puigdemont and Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy," explained Bassa, who reproached the Spanish government for not eschewing direct rule, if the Generalitat had agreed to call early elections.

    Regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds, she denied, just like the rest of the ex-Ministers, that even a cent was spent on the referendum because the Spanish Finance Ministry had imposed a "iron grip on and a very strict monitoring of" the finances of the Generalitat. As to the ballot boxes, she said, like Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, that she did not know where they had come from.

    Where she fully agreed with the rest of the ex-Ministers was in opposing the narrative of violence. "The only unpredictable variable of 1-O was the totally inappropriate actions of some —not all— members of the Spanish police and the Guardia Civil," she stated. In addition, she said that she could think of “1,000 ways to prevent" the referendum without assaulting the people. Among them, the Spanish government could have "invalidated the results" or impounded the ballots once voting had finished. In this context, she recalled the [non-binding] vote on November 9, 2014.

    Sànchez també es presenta com un pres polític:

    Sànchez també es presenta com un pres polític: "Soc aquí per haver estat president de l'ANC"


    [Si veus aquest contingut des d'una aplicació mòbil,  clica aquí per veure el vídeo en directe ] El judici al Procés i la vaga general del 21-F, en directe Empès per la vaga general a Catalunya, l'expresident de l'ANC Jordi Sànchez declara...

    [Si veus aquest contingut des d'una aplicació mòbil,  clica aquí per veure el vídeo en directe ] El judici al Procés i la vaga general del 21-F, en directe Empès per la vaga general a Catalunya, l'expresident de l'ANC Jordi Sànchez declara davant del tribunal del Procés. Igual que Oriol Junqueras i Raül Romeva, s'ha definit com un "pres polític", però justament per considerar que està davant d'un "judici polític", ha justificat en el seu cas no té "cap por" a respondre tant a la Fiscalia com a l'advocacia de l'Estat perquè els fets de què se l'acusa són "absolutament falsos" i el tribunal del Procés es presenta amb "voluntat de ser imparcial".

    Former Catalan minister Rull in court: "a referendum is possible under the Spanish Constitution"


    The face-off between Josep Rull and prosecutor Consuelo Madrigal and state attorney Rosa María Seoane was tense, and forced the presiding judge, Justice Manuel Marchena, to intervene with a warning that there would be no debate over the questions and...

    The face-off between Josep Rull and prosecutor Consuelo Madrigal and state attorney Rosa María Seoane was tense, and forced the presiding judge, Justice Manuel Marchena, to intervene with a warning that there would be no debate over the questions and responses of the defendant and the prosecution.

    The day started with Rull's statement —he refused to take any questions from the lawyers that represent Vox [Spain’s far-right rising star], acting as an individual plaintiff in the trial, and decried that the Catalan language was seen as a "threat" [in court]. Like his colleague Jordi Turull had done during his own cross-examination on Tuesday, Rull argued that the pro-independence project was a way to "channel the will of the people". "What mechanism could be clearer than seeking a democratic mandate through a plebiscite election?” asked the JxCat representative, referring to the September 27, 2015 elections, and posited the referendum as "the most basic way" to express the popular will, emphasizing that "if there is willingness, it can fit within the Constitution." He stressed this thesis in the last question by the state lawyer: "If there is political will, there is enough leeway for a referendum within the Spanish Constitution. Rajoy said that he could neither call one and didn’t want to. But he would have been able to, indeed”.

    Rull did not deviate from the narrative laid out by Turull when asked about the October 27 declaration of independence, although he included some new adjectives to refer to the parliamentary gesture. "It was a political declaration, formal and solemn, but the strength it has is as a statement of political will," said Rull, who said that he had voted Yes in “a secret ballot". "When violence is not used and a political declaration of independence is made, it is not subject to criminal prosecution," he added.

    In response to the session on Tuesday, the Prosecutor's Office chose to focus on the alleged disobedience and misuse of public funds, and asked Rull about the additional provision 40 of the Catalan budget, the budget line of just over six million euros earmarked for electoral processes, which the minister admitted was intended for the referendum. "It is perfectly possible for the Catalan authorities to hold a referendum in agreement with Madrid" said Rull, who tried to clarify his response, which differed from Turull’s the day before. "I was not aware of any kind of disobedience," he said, despite the fact that prosecutor Consuelo Madrigal pointed out that at that time the Spanish Constitutional Court (CC) had already suspended some parliamentary resolutions, such as the breakaway declaration of November 9, 2015.

    "Spectacular" demonstrations

    Madrigal's obsession to find out if the decree calling the referendum was signed "late" or "early in the morning" to avoid the CC contrasted with the interest in any possible facts that would go towards proving the rebellion or sedition charges. The prosecutor asked Rull if the people’s demonstrations were one of the pillars of the roadmap signed by the political parties and pro-independence civil society organizations on March 30, 2015, and indicated that in this document they were labeled as "spectacular", which, as explained by ARA’s fact-checking pieces, is a word that did not actually feature in that document, but only in the ANC’s [the Catalan National Assembly, a grassroots group] own road map and always accompanied by the adjective "peaceful". "Should the existence of civic, peaceful, and multitudinous mobilizations, such as on September 11, be the subject of a question in these terms?", asked Rull, which led to an intervention by Manuel Marchena, president of the court, who reiterated that the defendants should not assess the relevance of the questions. Justice Marchena, as he did with Turull, intervened several times to warn Rull to stick to the prosecutor's questions and to not make "reproaches." "Do not turn your questioning into a cross-examination of the prosecutor," he warned.

    One of the issues that the ex-ministers have pledged to agree on in their statements is to disassociate themselves from the delivery of election material for the referendum. Turull made it clear on Tuesday that he knew nothing about the logistics, despite being convinced that there would be ballot boxes. In the same terms, Rull stated that he saw the ballots for the first time on October 1 and that he did not know who printed or ordered them. "It placed my trust in my country," said the JxCat representative, when asked about his statements in the days leading up to 1-O in which he expressed confidence that the ballot boxes would be delivered to the polling stations.

    Despite Rull's collateral participation in the organization of 1-O, Madrigal wanted to investigate the misuse of public funds, and again brought up the Catalan government's agreement of September 7, 2017, in which the entire cabinet took it upon themselves to organize the vote. "There was no expenditure," Rull made clear. When asked if he was willing to take responsibility otherwise, he replied that he was, and that it would have been the ministers who would have had signed off [on any purchases]. "But they found nothing," he pointed out, when questioned about Unipost [a private postal company tasked with delivering referendum documents]. In addition, Rull recalled that there could not have been any misuse of funds because the Spanish government had "seized the financial autonomy" of the Catalan administration by taking direct control of its accounts, a point that became a subject of debate between the defendant and the prosecutor.

    Another path that the prosecutor is seeking to use to prove the alleged misuse of public funds is through the Foreign Ministry, but on Tuesday she was unable to ask its leader, Raül Romeva, who only agreed to answer questions from his own defense counsel. Madrigal devoted many questions to actions abroad, travel expenses paid to international observers, visits by MEPs for the the referendum, and conferences by Carles Puigdemont —who Rull referred to as the “legitimate president”— and other advisers, but Rull did not want to go into detail because he had nothing to do with that ministry.

    The violence of police faced with "peaceful" people

    Possible violent actions also took center stage during the cross-examination, and Rull condemned any "verbal assaults", when Madrigal asked about the alleged siege at various hotels where Guardia Civil and Spanish police officers were housed in the days leading up to 1-O. The ex-Minister complained that some of them, as a response, were seen in the streets in plainclothes and holding truncheons; regarding 1-O, he emphasized the "disproportion" of police violence. "I would never have imagined that the police would employ the level of violence that they unleashed when faced with absolutely peaceful people," he indicated in relation to the day of the independence vote.

    Rull echoed statements by José Manuel Maza, then Spain's Attorney General, who warned: "Do not force us to overstep the law." "I would never have thought that this threat would have resulted in them overstepping the law by using violence," Rull stressed. He also rejected the narrative of "human walls" of citizens in front of the polling stations to “attack” the Spanish police. On this matter, he denied any knowledge of the alleged injuries sustained by over 70 police officers brought up by the prosecutor.

    Regarding the September 20, 2017 demonstration in front of the Ministry of Economy in protest of the search of several headquarters of the Catalan government by the Guardia Civil, he avoided going into detail about the protest and stuck to the statement that Joaquim Forn made last week. "A democracy that restricts the citizens' right to protest is doomed”, he noted. Madrigal replied: "But judges' decisions can be appealed." Rull continued to criticize the fact that the Prosecutor's indictment speaks of “disturbances" and restricts the right to protest, in his opinion. He warned the prosecutor that she would not feel “contented” by any of his answers on this topic.

    Why did the 'Piolín' boat not dock at the Port of Palamos?

    One of Rull's most detailed explanations was when the prosecutor asked him why the Generalitat did not allow the boat-hotel loaded with Spanish police officers, nicknamed 'Piolín' [Tweety Bird] after the comic book character painted on its side, at the port of Palamós. The ex-Minister argued that "cruise ships are the jewel in the crown" for the port of Palamós and that this would have been "irresponsible" and a "financial burden" for the port to allow a ship-hotel to dock. However, he insisted that he did not have the last word, and that it was those responsible for the port who decided, who only then told him that the objective was to house security forces, which ended up on September 20 in Barcelona, where the authority for the port is in the hands of the Spanish government.

    Ampli seguiment de la vaga a les universitats

    Ampli seguiment de la vaga a les universitats


    Universitats per la República ha assegurat aquest dijous que el seguiment de la vaga està sent "molt alt" a les universitats catalanes.  Fonts de diferents universitats públiques catalanes  consultades per Euorpa Pressa han remarcat que hi ha poca...

    Universitats per la República ha assegurat aquest dijous que el seguiment de la vaga està sent "molt alt" a les universitats catalanes.  Fonts de diferents universitats públiques catalanes  consultades per Euorpa Pressa han remarcat que hi ha poca activitat en els centres, sense que es produeixin incidències, excepte a la Universitat de Lleida (UdL), on piquets han bloquejat accessos al Rectorat.

    Carreteres tallades  i manifestants desallotjats en l'arrencada del 21-F

    Carreteres tallades i manifestants desallotjats en l'arrencada del 21-F


    Carreteres tallades a primera hora del matí a diferents punts de la geografia catalana. Els CDR han començat la jornada de mobilització del 21- F provocant afectacions al trànsit. En alguns casos, han col·locat pneumàtics a la calçada per impedir...

    Carreteres tallades a primera hora del matí a diferents punts de la geografia catalana. Els CDR han començat la jornada de mobilització del 21- F provocant afectacions al trànsit. En alguns casos, han col·locat pneumàtics a la calçada per impedir la circulació. Queden més d'una desena de carreteres afectades per les protestes. Des de primera hora del matí un dels talls principals ha estat l'AP-7 en els dos sentits de la marxa a Sant Julià de Ramis. Els Mossos han intervingut i la circulació ha quedat restablerta a les 11.30h. Els vaguistes també han ocupat la calçada de la C-58 a l'alçada de Sabadell, on el tall ha provocat més de tres quilòmetres de cua. Els Mossos han desallotjat aquesta via i, durant la intervenció policial, s'hi han viscut moments de tensió. El Servei Català de Trànsit, xifra en un 13,7% la caiguda de la mobilitat a les entrades i sortides de l'àrea metropolitana de Barcelona respecte un dijous normal.

    Les mobilitzacions a diversos punts de la geografia s'han saldat fins ara amb dues persones detingudes. Un periodista de TV3 ha resultat ferit pel llançament d'una pedra a Gurb, on s'ha produït la detenció d'un home que s'hauria oposat a l'acció policial.

    També hi ha hagut afectacions de trànsit a vies importants de Barcelona, com el Paral·lel, la Meridiana o la Gran Via a l'alçada de la Campana i a Glòries. Els CDR també han tallat punts com la Via Augusta de Barcelona. Els talls, de fet, es repeteixen de manera intermitent a vies com la Diagonal a l'alçada de Zona Universitària  i a la Ronda de Dalt a la zona de Can Caralleu. Els Mossos han desallotjat, poc abans de les nou, els manifestants que es concentraven a la Gran Via a l'alçada de Rocafort. En algun dels desallotjaments s'hi han viscut moments de tensió i els Mossos han detingut una persona a la Gran Via amb Urgell per presumptament donar un cop de puny a un dels agents. Una manifestació recorria, a les deu del matí, els carrers principals del barri de Gràcia.  I una manifetsació també talla el trànsit al passeig de Gràcia.

    A les 11.30h persistien 11 talls de carreteres a la C35 a Santa Maria de Palautordera, la C-17 a Gurb, la C-16 a Berga, la N-II a Sant Julià de Ramis, la C-66 a Torrent, la N-260 a Pobla de Segur, la N-152a a Puigcerdà, la C-233 a les Borges Blanques, la N-260 a Lles, la C-242 a la Granadella i la T-11 a Tarragona.

    Els Mossos estan intervenint a la C-17 i la C-25 a Gurb i a la AP7 i N-II a Sant Julià de Ramis. Asseguren que hi ha hagut agressions a la línia policial. Els Mossos també han restablert la circulació a l'A-2  a Tàrrega.  Durant la matinada tampoc es podia circular -per la presència d'objectes a les vies- per a C-55 a Olesa de Montserrat o a la C-33 a Mollet, però en tots dos casos l'ha circulació s'ha normalitzat abans de les sis del matí.

    Altres carreteres que han patit talls aquest dijous al matí han estat la N-260 a la Seu d'Urgell, en els dos sentits de la marxa, la C-13 a Lleida, la N-240 a les Borges Blanques. A la demarcació de Girona, els talls s'han repetit a la C-65 a Cassà de la Selva i a la C-66 a Palol de Revardit. A Tarragona, també s'han produït talls a l'A-27. 

    Segons el Servei Català de Trànsit  en la majoria dels casos són pocs manifestants que col·loquen pneumàtics per bloquejar la via. Alguns s'han arribat a encendre. Els Mossos d'Esquadra, per la seva banda, han informat a través de Twitter que hi ha hagut diversos incidents on vehicles han patit topades per aquesta crema de pneumàtics. 

    A Girona, el CDR ha convocat a dos quarts de set  davant l'estació de l"AVE a Girona, que estava protegida amb un fort desplegament policial. El mig miler de persones que s'han concentrat han començat ara una manifestació pel centre de la ciutat. De moment estan voltant el Parc Central i es dirigeixen cap a la via Jaume I.


    A Tarragona ciutat, al voltant d'un centenar de persones ha tallat la plaça Imperial Tarraco i ara està tallant els accessos al Port.  En aquest punt, on s'han concentrat unes 500 persones, s'hi han voscut moments de tensió amb els Mossos. També a Reus s'han concentrat unes 80 persones a la plaça de la Llibertat i s'han concentrat davant dels jutjats. 

    A Lleida, desenes de manifestants han protagonitzat protestes des de primera hora d'aquest matí.
    La més destacada ha estat la que ha impedit que els autobusos urbans de la ciutat poguessin sortir de les cotxeres per prestar servei als ciutadans. Diverses furgonetes dels antiavalots dels Mossos s'han desplaçat fins al lloc per intentar facilitar la sortida dels autobusos.

    246 trucades al 112

    El telèfon d'emergències ha atès 246 trucades motivades per 103 incidents vinculats a vaga.  I, segons ha informat la conselleria d'Interior, s'han produït una cinquantena d'incidències relacionades amb la mobilitat a tot Catalunya.


    Sense transport escolar a Olot

    L'afectació al trànsit per un tall de via a l'entrada a Olot en el marc de la jornada de vaga ha comportat la suspensió del transport escolar en quatre centres educatius d'Olot, segons informa el Consell Comarcal de la Garrotxa. Els quatre centres sobre els que s'ha aplicat aquesta mesura són el INS Bosc de la Coma, Escola Verntallat, Escola La Bòbila i Joan XXIII.

    Dos detinguts en les mobilitzacions del 21-F

    Dos detinguts en les mobilitzacions del 21-F


    Ja son dues les persones detingudes durant les mobilitzacions del 21-F. El departament d'Interior ha confirmat primer que els Mossos d'Esquadra han detingut una persona per atemptat contra els agents de l'autoritat durant els  desallotjament de la Gran...

    Ja son dues les persones detingudes durant les mobilitzacions del 21-F. El departament d'Interior ha confirmat primer que els Mossos d'Esquadra han detingut una persona per atemptat contra els agents de l'autoritat durant els  desallotjament de la Gran Via a l'alçada del carrer Urgell. El detingut hauria donat un un cop de puny a un agent. Més tard, el departament ha confirmat una segona detenció a Gurb, on hi ha hagut incidents amb llançaments d'objectes a la línia policial a la C-17 i la C-25.

    El gobierno de Rajoy arruina en diferido el relato de rebelión

    El gobierno de Rajoy arruina en diferido el relato de rebelión


    Lo que para el instructor Pablo Llarena y los fiscales es la prueba suprema de la violencia como elemento típico del delito de rebelión en Cataluña- la manifestación del 20 de septiembre de 2017 en Rambla 19-21 y la celebración del referéndum del 1...

    Lo que para el instructor Pablo Llarena y los fiscales es la prueba suprema de la violencia como elemento típico del delito de rebelión en Cataluña- la manifestación del 20 de septiembre de 2017 en Rambla 19-21 y la celebración del referéndum del 1 de octubre- ni Mariano Rajoy ni Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría lo consideraron hechos tan alarmantes como para llevar ambos asuntos al consejo de ministros y al Consejo Nacional de Seguridad. Ya no digamos para proponer el estado de sitio o la aplicación de la ley de Seguridad Nacional: ni siquiera para examinar los pros y contras de adoptar estas medidas. Es más: la declaración de independencia origina un intercambio el 11 de octubre entre Rajoy y Puigdemont para aclarar lo que se resolvió en el Parlament el 10 de octubre sobre la declaración y suspensión de la misma, el proceso para desencadenar el artículo 155 de la Constitución Española.

        ¿Era incompatible declarar el estado de sitio o la ley de Seguridad Nacional con la aplicación del 155? No. Pero Rajoy y Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría nunca consideraron que la situación merecía ir por el camino de esas medidas. Eso es lo que ahora  ha quedado certificado por La Moncloa al cumplimentar los oficios que le ha enviado a primeros de febrero el Tribunal Supremo a solicitud de la defensa del ex consejero Joaquín Forn.

        Los  documentos confidenciales aportados por La Moncloa el 13 de febrero entre los que se incluyen certificaciones del Consejo Nacional de Seguridad dan una idea bastante precisa de cómo valoraban Rajoy y Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría la gravedad de la situación. Por ejemplo, el 25 de septiembre de 2017, cinco días después de la manifestación del 20 de septiembre,  Rajoy convoca el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional para el 6 de octubre. Lógico ¿no? Para examinar el 1-O. El punto 3 del orden del día de esa reunión era el siguiente: "Informe de la Vicepresidenta y Ministra de la Presidencia sobre la situación en la Comunidad Autónoma de Cataluña"

       Pero he aquí que el 30 de septiembre, veinticuatro horas antes del 1-O, se aplaza la reunión. La Moncloa aporta el oficio. La reunión se "posterga a una nueva fecha que se comunicará por razones sobrevenidas". Esa reunión se convoca, finalmente, para el 1 de diciembre a las 9:00 hs. El orden del día prevé el informe de la vicepresidenta del 6 de octubre sobre la situación en Cataluña.

         Pero el 28 de noviembre se cambia el orden del día y se apunta que la vicepresidenta ya no informará sobre Cataluña. En cambio, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, según el oficio, debía informar sobre "ciberseguridad". El instructor Llarena y los fiscales intentan una tarea imposible: reconstruir una rebelión-insurrección inexistente. Lo fue para Rajoy y para Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría en aquellos días decisivos.

       La ex consejera Dolors Bassa dijo una palabra clave ayer casi al final de su declaración: desistimiento. Y después habló por primera vez en el plenario, hasta ahora, de la intención frustrada de Carles Puigdemont de convocar elecciones autonómicas mediación mediante [del lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu].Los fiscales intentan, pues, pintar una conjura desistida como una rebelión realmente existente.

    El error de la fiscal sobre la hoja de ruta de 2015: atribuye a Rull haber pactado

    El error de la fiscal sobre la hoja de ruta de 2015: atribuye a Rull haber pactado "movilizaciones espectaculares"


    El interrogatorio del ex conseller Josep Rull ha comenzado con un error de la fiscal Consuelo Madrigal sobre el contenido de la hoja de ruta de 2015, pactado en marzo entre CDC, ERC, Òmnium, la ANC y la AMI. El ministerio público utiliza el documento...

    El interrogatorio del ex conseller Josep Rull ha comenzado con un error de la fiscal Consuelo Madrigal sobre el contenido de la hoja de ruta de 2015, pactado en marzo entre CDC, ERC, Òmnium, la ANC y la AMI. El ministerio público utiliza el documento para acusar al ex responsable de Territorio de pactar una estrategia "concertada" entre partidos y entidades para conseguir la independencia.

    Comunicat de l'ARA sobre la vaga general 21-F


    El diari ARA, amb motiu de la situació política que viu Catalunya i de la vaga general, que té el suport de l'assemblea de treballadors, ha decidit no treure aquest dijous, 21 de febrer, la seva edició de paper. Totes les informacions elaborades...

    El diari ARA, amb motiu de la situació política que viu Catalunya i de la vaga general, que té el suport de l'assemblea de treballadors, ha decidit no treure aquest dijous, 21 de febrer, la seva edició de paper. Totes les informacions elaborades aquest dimecres, dia 20, però, estaran disponibles a l'edició digital. El dijous 21 el diari ARA informarà a través de l’Ara.cat del desenvolupament de la vaga i també del judici de l'1-O. Tant el minut a minut com els continguts que es publiquin sobre la vaga general s'oferiran en obert, per a tots els lectors, ja siguin subscriptors o no. Divendres l'edició de paper del diari pararà una atenció especial a la vaga i el judici.

    Turull:

    Turull: "Los ciudadanos de Cataluña no son ovejas, no son gente militarizada"


    Duro y largo cara a cara –de casi tres horas– entre Jordi Turull y el fiscal Jaime Moreno durante el cuarto día del juicio al Procés en el Tribunal Supremo. El ex conseller de Presidencia, que combinó una defensa técnica con un contundente...

    Duro y largo cara a cara –de casi tres horas– entre Jordi Turull y el fiscal Jaime Moreno durante el cuarto día del juicio al Procés en el Tribunal Supremo. El ex conseller de Presidencia, que combinó una defensa técnica con un contundente discurso político, defendió el "pacifismo" del movimiento independentista, después de que el fiscal le preguntara si a partir del 20 de septiembre se generó un clima de "violencia".

    "Me considero un preso político" y "La autodeterminación es legal": Romeva calca el interrogatorio de Junqueras


    Raül Romeva tomó el relevo de Jordi Turull en el cuarto día de juicio al Procés en el Tribunal Supremo. El ex conseller de Exteriores se negó a declarar ante las acusaciones, tal como hizo Oriol Junqueras, en la línea de defensa que sigue el...

    Raül Romeva tomó el relevo de Jordi Turull en el cuarto día de juicio al Procés en el Tribunal Supremo. El ex conseller de Exteriores se negó a declarar ante las acusaciones, tal como hizo Oriol Junqueras, en la línea de defensa que sigue el abogado que ambos comparten, Andreu Van den Eynde. "Como considero que es un juicio político, me acojo al derecho a responder sólo a mi abogado", dejó claro Romeva, que empezó su declaración como hizo el presidente de ERC.

    Former MEP Romeva, on trial in Spain:

    Former MEP Romeva, on trial in Spain: "I consider myself a political prisoner"


    The former MEP Raül Romeva followed Jordi Turull on the fourth day of the trial of the independence referendum in Madrid’s Supreme Court. The former Catalan Foreign Minister refused to answer the prosecution’s questions, as did ERC leader Oriol...

    The former MEP Raül Romeva followed Jordi Turull on the fourth day of the trial of the independence referendum in Madrid’s Supreme Court. The former Catalan Foreign Minister refused to answer the prosecution’s questions, as did ERC leader Oriol Junqueras, in keeping with the defence strategy adopted by their lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde. Romeva made his position clear, as the president of ERC did before him, "Since I believe that this is a political trial, I am entitled to the right to only answer questions put to me by my lawyer". After stating the position he currently holds, Romeva declared that he considers himself to be a "political prisoner".

    Van den Eynde began by asking Romeva to outline his professional and political background. The ERC MP in the Catalan Parliament spoke openly of his political opinions, given the freedom allowed to him by responding to his lawyer’s questions, unlike Turull, who had to limit himself to answering questions put to him by the Public Prosecutor and the Solicitor General. "Every time I have stood for election, both with ICV [The Catalan Green party, Romeva’s former party] in the European Parliament and with JxSí (1) and ERC [the Republican Left, Romeva’s current party], the electoral manifestos have always declared the right of self-determination to be a legal, legitimate pursuit", declared Romeva, before reiterating: "There is no European treaty which prohibits the exercise of the right of self-determination. It does not exist". He recounted how his views evolved from being a member of a federalist party to supporting independence as a response to the ruling on the Statute by Spain’s Constitutional Court, which he called a "politicized court".

    During the cross examination, Romeva defended the right to self-determination within the Constitution if the "political will" exists and if "democratic principles" are respected alongside the "principle of legality". According to the former minister, "We understand that this demand is perfectly compatible with the continuing constitutionalist dialogue. The rule of law cannot be imposed or subsumed to the concept of democratic legitimacy".

    Romeva went on to argue that in order to achieve its objectives, the Catalan government has always used methods based on "civility, pacifism, responsibility, harmony, non-discrimination, dialogue and negotiation". He insisted that at no point was there ever any "incitement to violence", including during the demonstrations outside Barcelona’s Ministry of Economy on 20 September 2017. "Demonstrating can’t be considered an uprising and a protest isn’t a mob. And holding an opinion isn’t a crime. I saw a demonstration that day", Romeva declared, placing any blame on the security forces. "The only weapons that day were carried by the Guardia Civil officers [who were searching the building]“, he declared.

    Romeva also focused part of the cross examination on the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Diplocat, Catalonia’s public diplomacy council. When asked as to its functions, Romeva merely stated that the council conducts public diplomacy and explaining what institutions endorse it. Referring to his responsibilities as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Romeva declared that the Spanish Constitution lists only three restrictions: "The Catalan government isn’t allowed to act as a representative of the State abroad, it is not allowed to sign international treaties which affect the State and is not allowed to conduct consular activities". “I’d like see if someone can tell me when my department did any of these three things", Romeva declared.

    The UDI, a political mandate to negotiate

    Van den Eynde introduced a new element in Romeva’s cross examination with respect to Junqueras’, in that he asked the former minister about the significance of the declaration of independence [or Unilateral Declaration of Independence, DUI] of 27 October. "On 27 October we voted on a resolution to declare independence, taking into account the mandate which emerged from the elections on the 27 September 2015. At that point we reiterated the need to start negotiations to direct the political mandate. The political declaration gave us a political mandate to initiate a multilateral process", Romeva stated, while adding that he had not fled into exile because everything he had done was "lawful and legal". By way of conclusion, Romeva decried the fact that "those who are supposed to have engaged in politics failed to do so, passing the responsibility to a court of law", before adding, "I humbly ask you not to take on that responsibility, but instead to return it to the sphere from where it ought never to have left, that of politics”.

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    Translator’s notes:

    (1) Junts pel Sí was a Catalan political alliance and parliamentary group focused on achieving the independence of Catalonia from Spain

    The former Catalan minister Turull’s harsh replies to the Spanish public prosecutor

    The former Catalan minister Turull’s harsh replies to the Spanish public prosecutor


    A bitter, drawn-out face-off, lasting almost three hours, between Jordi Turull and the prosecutor Jaime Moreno during the fourth day of the trial of the independence referendum in Madrid’s Supreme Court. The former Minister of the Presidency, who...

    A bitter, drawn-out face-off, lasting almost three hours, between Jordi Turull and the prosecutor Jaime Moreno during the fourth day of the trial of the independence referendum in Madrid’s Supreme Court. The former Minister of the Presidency, who combined a technical defence with a strong political argument, defended the "pacifism" exhibited by the independence movement, when asked by the prosecutor if a climate of "violence" prevailed after 20 September. "Not in the least", Turull declared, before describing any attempt by a political party to "suggest that to achieve its goal, violence is needed, even passively", as "doomed to failure". He added that "no matter what stories you might want to invent, no matter how much Catalan society is portrayed as violent, such an argument holds no water, as well as being outrageous”.

    After the cross examination by the prosecutor and the solicitor general and a recess for lunch, Turull's lawyer, Jordi Pina, took the floor, with a series of brief questions of a technical nature lasting just fifteen minutes. Pina also read out a series of Turull’s tweets in which the former minister called on people to behave “in a civic-minded way”, "peacefully" and "calmly". Turull finished by reading the words of former President Carles Puigdemont before the declaration of independence, in which he once more called for dialogue with the Spanish government. He recalled that their guiding principles were "always invoking peace" and "civility". Turull was followed by former Foreign Minister Raül Romeva, who only replied to questions put to him by his lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, in a cross examination which lasted an hour and a half compared with Turull's four-hour marathon.

    The sparring between Turull and the prosecutor was relentless: "The people of Catalonia aren’t like lambs, they aren’t militarized, whether or not they support independence, they think for themselves". Such was Turull’s reply to the prosecution’s attempt to portray the independence movement as being led from the top rather than as being a organised from the bottom up. From the outset, Turull insisted that the people themselves were compelling the political parties to hold the referendum and pointed out that the pro-independence groups "always opted for dialogue with the State". Speaking of the declaration of independence of 27 October, unlike the former Interior Minister, Joaquim Forn, Turull argued that it was voted on in full. He did not go so far as to say that it was put into effect, but he insisted that it was a "political statement".

    Turull called the National Pact for the Referendum, which sought a referendum in agreement with the Spanish government, as "the sole agreement between 4,000 associations". When asked whether the intention was to increase the "level of conflict" –as the document 'Enfocats' argues, which Turull declared himself to have no knowledge of– the former minister enquired rhetorically how the intention could be to seek "conflict" if 4,000 associations had united to find a solution with the Spanish government. "The word ‘surrender’ doesn’t exist in the Catalan dictionary", he added in reference to attempts to negotiate a referendum. Regarding possible "doubts as to whose orders the Catalan police would follow", Turull, the former-leader of JxSí (1) in the Catalan parliament, emphasised that Carles Puigdemont, then president of the Catalan government, "always insisted" that the Catalan police would comply with their duties as judicial police.

    "Being a constitutionalist must be a breeze"

    Turull tried to distance himself from the accusations of the crime of disobedience by declaring that on "25 occasions" the Spanish government has failed to respect sentences by the Constitutional Court "without receiving a reprimand or legal sanction". "Being a constitutionalist must be really easy, since it allows you to disobey the Constitution whenever you fancy", Turull declared. "I’ve spent a year in prison as the result of a court order for acts which don’t constitute a criminal offense [declaring once again that organizing a referendum is not illegal], and then they say we aren’t on trial for our ideas".
    With reference to the crime of misappropriation of public funds, Turull insisted that "not one cent was spent on the referendum". Moreno showed him the Catalan government document in which the ministers agreed "jointly and collectively" to be held responsible for all actions aimed at making the 1 October vote possible, including "purchasing" and spending commitments. Turull responded that there is no "factual evidence" which shows that the plans went ahead, adding that at the time the referendum law had not been suspended by the Constitutional Court yet. "And what about all the previous resolutions?", the prosecutor asked him in reference to the commission to study the constituent process and other resolutions, which Turull argued "had nothing to do with the referendum".

    The former Minister of the Presidency also denied that his government had the intention of paying for advertising campaigns and tried to disassociate them from the referendum, as well as the alleged contracts with Unipost. "The invoices haven’t been paid and nor will they be, since the campaign was free", Turull declared in reference to the adverts featuring a railway track on TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio. For the first time Turull declared that it was not an official campaign for the referendum because neither he nor Carles Puigdemont liked what was originally planned: it was not sufficiently "neutral" as it featured a "bird in a cage".

    Unlike last week, the president of the court, Justice Manuel Marchena, was forced to intervene on several occasions not to shield the accused from the prosecutor, but to ask Turull "not to use the cross examination as an excuse to give value judgments". The former minister remained defiant when the prosecutor asked if he is a member of Òmnium Cultural (2), reminding him that it wasn’t even a crime during the Franco era and that he was "astonished" by the question. He went on to list a number of social and humanitarian organizations of which he is also a member.

    Turull began by criticising Marchena's decision not to allow simultaneous translation from Catalan into Spanish during the trial and he reproached him for allowing consecutive translation, for purely "emotional" reasons. As far as Turull is concerned, being able to speak Catalan during the trial was a matter of "guarantees". Turull declared that "there’s nothing new about it" since nowadays you can hear translations into Spanish live on TV. "You shouldn’t see the cost of buying headphones for the public in the courtroom as an expense, but rather as an investment".

    It appears as if the court expects that this week it will be possible for all the defendants to be cross examined, since the timetable for witness testimonies has already been released. One of the first witnesses to be called will be the former Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, on Tuesday afternoon.

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    Translator’s notes:

    (1) Junts pel Sí was a Catalan political alliance and parliamentary group focused on achieving the independence of Catalonia from Spain

    (2) Òmnium Cutural is a grassroots pro-independence organisation with over 130,000 members.

    Una rebelión-insurrección imaginaria

    Una rebelión-insurrección imaginaria


    La cuarta sesión del juicio oral termina con una escena para un film político. Ayer, sobre las seis de la tarde, Raül Romeva explica a preguntas de su letrado Andreu Van den Eynde por qué “no se marchó”: todo lo que cree haber hecho ha sido...

    La cuarta sesión del juicio oral termina con una escena para un film político. Ayer, sobre las seis de la tarde, Raül Romeva explica a preguntas de su letrado Andreu Van den Eynde por qué “no se marchó”: todo lo que cree haber hecho ha sido “lícito y legítimo y legal”, dice, y se queda para defenderse. Y añade que los políticos “les pasan a ustedes -dirigiéndose al tribunal- la responsabilidad que les atañe a ellos” Y urge a los jueces: “devuelvan esta carpeta a la política”. Silencio. Y se oye a Manuel Marchena con voz pletórica: “Muchas gracias señor Romeva”. El presidente del tribunal se gira hacia su derecha, consulta y a las 18:05  dice: “Hasta mañana, pueden salir”.

    Si el fotógrafo coge esta imagen que acaba de revelar, digamos estilo Blow up, la película de Antonioni, parecería que Marchena acoge con alborozo la propuesta de Romeva de devolver la causa a los políticos por la manera en que le agradece el final de su intervención. ¿Y quién sabe?

    El fiscal Jaime Moreno se mueve con seguridad en aquello que es evidente: la desobediencia. Y la estrategia de Jordi Turull, por ejemplo, que ha contestado al fiscal y a la persona que más saca de quicio a Marchena en todo el plenario -la abogada del Estado Rosa María Seoane- empieza sin apenas resistirse ante el delito de desobediencia -están las resoluciones impugnadas y los requerimientos del Tribunal Constitucional -, pero es beligerante ante la malversación y se hace más fuerte ante la violencia.

    El fiscal ha exprimido como un limón la libreta Moleskine de Josep Maria Jové -cuya ausencia en la sala, por tanto, se hace más notable- y el célebre informe Enfocats. 

    Y ahora, muy tranquilo, pasa a su tabla de salvación: la manifestación del 20 de septiembre en la Rambla de Cataluña, 19-21, frente a la consejería de Economía.

    Habla de los siete coches de la Guardia Civil -solo dos de ellos destrozados- pero el fiscal parece querer solidarizarse con su colega Fidel Cadena, quien habló de los “siete  coches devastados” el jueves 14, cosechando muchos comentarios adversos-, vuelve a la letrada de la Administración de Justicia que ha “salido por los tejados” y los tuits de Turull, quien durante estos hechos se encontraba en el Palau de la Generalitat. En su mensaje agradecía lo que llamaba una protesta cívica y pacífica.

    Y entonces el fiscal habla de actos ante la consejería de Economía y el domicilio de Jové, que se estaba sometiendo a un registro policial, y las amenazas de los días siguientes, y pregunta al acusado:

    -¿A partir del día 20 de septiembre no se generaliza una situación de creciente violencia?

    Esta pregunta es interesante. Pero ya está respondida por los acontecimientos. El fiscal ¿no sabe si se generaliza o no una creciente violencia? 

    Si como sostienen el instructor Pablo Llarena y los fiscales, los jefes de la rebelión-insurrección imaginaria tenían 17.000 hombres armados -con armas largas modernas recién adquiridas con autorización del Ministerio de Interior- ¿por qué no meter la directa y convertir la presunta asonada del 20-S en rebelión? (también aquí es notable la ausencia del mayor Trapero en el banquillo)

    ¿Pero en qué se convierte la manifestación del 20-S con posterioridad? Pues se agota en sí misma. De lo contrario, se supone que el gobierno de Rajoy podía haber propuesto la aplicación del estado de sitio y el Consejo Nacional de Seguridad evaluar si era necesario aplicar la ley de Seguridad Nacional. Y no lo hacen.

    Esa “violencia creciente” de la que ha hablado el fiscal ni estaba ni se la esperaba.

     

     


     
     
     
     

    David Miró