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Catalan trial could be 'political', claim international observers

Report comes as Carles Puigdemont's lawyer speaks out on the trial

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01 April 2019 07:37 PM

by

Daniel Wittenberg | Barcelona

The Catalan trial could be "political," with "prepared and orchestrated" statements by Spanish police witnesses, international observers have warned.

International Trial Watch, an NGO set up by Catalan human rights charities, reported the prevalence of vocabulary such as "hate", "insurrection" and "fear" among the two dozen Spanish police officers to have testified so far at the Supreme Court.

The organization underlined that although these were "subjective valuations that do not link the defendants to particular facts", their repeated presence "could denote that these statements have been orchestrated and prepared" and "dilute the testimonies".

Critics of Catalan independence note that the only international observers in Madrid have been brought in by groups sympathetic to the sovereigntist cause, which its supporters contend is the case because the Spanish state refused to install its own.

Puigdemont's lawyer: 'no doubt' about guilty verdict

The report came as Carles Puigdemont's lawyer said he had "no doubt" that the former Catalan leaders currently on trial would be found guilty and that the verdict would be followed by a third European Arrest Warrant for the ousted Catalan president.

"I cannot imagine that a Supreme Court magistrate won't issue a European Arrest Warrant alongside the sentence that he is bound to deliver," Gonzalo Boye told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) at the launch of his book about the events of 2017.

The lawyer suggested, however, that some countries may not be sympathetic with the Spanish courts if they are requested to cooperate for the third time.

  • "I cannot imagine that a Supreme Court magistrate won't issue a European Arrest Warrant alongside the sentence that he is bound to deliver"

    Gonzalo Boye · Carles Puigdemont's lawyer

"They are already fed up," Boye claimed, referring particularly to authorities in Belgium where Puigdemont is living in exile.

"Belgium, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland have already spent public money on translating documents for these warrants only to be told that Spain is no longer interested," he added.

Boye also dismissed the idea that Puigdemont may not be able to take up his seat if he is elected to the European Parliament in May.

He says that those who have said that the process would be impossible are "the same as those who said Germany would extradite him" when the second warrant was issued in March 2018.

"I don't know anyone serious in the legal profession who would doubt what we are saying."

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  • A team of international observers has compiled weekly reports on the trial

  • A team of international observers has compiled weekly reports on the trial

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