Criticism of Catalan police in court 'disgraceful,' says interior minister
Miquel Buch accuses Spanish officials of aiming to "smear" Mossos d'Esquadra in their independence trial testimony
Interior minister Miquel Buch leapt to the defense of the Mossos d'Esquadra, after Diego Pérez de los Cobos, who coordinated the police operation to stop the 2017 independence, was critical of the Catalan police during his testimony in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Buch called it "disgraceful" that Pérez de los Cobos should try to attribute the "excessive violence" shown by Spanish police officers during the operation to stop the vote to "an alleged lack of commitment" from the Mossos.
On Wednesday, Buch continued his defense of the Catalan police, insisting that the testimony given by Pérez de los Cobos, and that by the former Spanish government delegate to Catalonia, Enric Millo, is an attempt to "smear" the Mossos.
"It is disgraceful [to attribute] the excessive violence [of the Spanish police on referendum day] to an alleged lack of commitment [from the Catalan police]"
Miquel Buch · Catalan home affairs ministry
Buch said the Spanish authorities "want to persecute the Mossos d'Esquadra force" because "they don't feel it is theirs." Talking to the Ser Catalunya radio station, Buch said the two Spanish officials aimed "to justify the police brutality" and support the "false narrative" against the independence leaders on trial.
Forn praises "professionalism" of Mossos
Meanwhile, the interior minister at the time of the independence bid, Joaquim Forn, who is one of the Catalan leaders currently on trial, responded to the testimonies of Pérez de los Cobos and Millo with a message of support for the Catalan police.
"After listening yesterday to Millo and Pérez de los Cobos, I would like to stress and recognize the professionalism and rigor of the Mossos and their commanders," Forn posted on Twitter, thanking them and adding that he felt "proud" to have been their political head.