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Former ministers say Catalan government aimed for agreed referendum

Officials who left posts before 2017 vote tell Supreme Court their decision was unrelated, while vice president chooses not to give testimony

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23 April 2019 07:09 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Day 34 of the trial of independence leaders saw former Catalan government officials testifying in Spain's Supreme Court, although current vice president Pere Aragonès did not in the end appear as expected.

While ministers who left the government in the run-up to the 2017 independence bid spoke about the preparations for the referendum, Aragonès chose not to take the stand, as he is involved in a related case.

While Catalonia celebrated Sant Jordi's Day, former interior minister Jordi Jané and former government secretary Joan Vidal both told the court that the government’s aim was always for a referendum agreed with Spain.

Jané, along with Meritxell Ruiz and Jordi Baiget, who also testified today, left their posts three months before the October 1 referendum, with all of them explaining that their resignations were not connected to a potential unilateral vote. 

However, they cited growing tensions between Catalan and Spanish executives to justify their resignations.

Denial of referendum-related payment

Meanwhile, David Badal, who was responsible for government payments in 2017, denied that any payments were made to a company that prosecutors suspect of having printed material for the referendum.

As for the head of the Catalan police mediation teams at the time, he denied speaking with imprisoned leaders Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart during the September 20 protests against Spanish police raids.

A mix-up in the summoning of witnesses meant that Tuesday's session ended early, so that Albert Batlle, the official responsible at the time for the Catalan police, and who also resigned before the vote, will testify on Wednesday.

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  • Former Catalan minister Jordi Jané testifying as witness in the Catalan trial on April 23, 2019

  • Former Catalan minister Jordi Jané testifying as witness in the Catalan trial on April 23, 2019

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