Parliament speaker would have done 'exactly same' as prosecuted predecessor
Roger Torrent and other parliament officials testify in independence trial
The Catalan parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, said he would have done "exactly the same" as his predecessor, Carme Forcadell, who is facing rebellion charges for having allowed debates and votes on independence in 2017.
Testifying before Spain's Supreme Court as witness during the trial against Forcadell and other officials, Torrent said she "could not have done anything else" other than accept the debates.
"The parliament bureau can't act as a censor body," he said.
Torrent also said that laws such as the one providing a legal framework for the transition towards an independent Catalonia "never came into effect."
"We will vote again"
He also referred to the October 1, 2017 referendum.
"If demonstrating or calling a referendum is on trial, there should be thousands of people sitting in the dock, starting with me," he said, expressing a similar point as Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau.
"If demonstrating or calling a referendum is on trial, there should be thousands of people sitting in the dock"
Roger Torrent · Catalan parliament speaker
"The conflict between Catalonia and Spain will only be solved by calling a referendum," added Torrent, who vowed: "We will vote again, I will vote again."
Before he began to give his testimony, Torrent said that the fact that some MPs are accused in the proceedings "distorts the normal functioning of the chamber."
He also expressed his "concern" about the fact that the far-right Vox party is serving as a private prosecutor while Catalan MPs are in the dock.
Other parliament officials testifying
After Torrent, it was the turn of two unionist members of the parliament bureau in 2017: José María Espejo-Saavedra, of the Ciutadans party, and David Pérez, of the Catalan Socialists.
Espejo-Saavedra told the court he did not remember how the members of the referendum electoral authority were appointed, but he guessed “it was in an irregular way.”
He also said that "parliamentary initiatives were admitted that were in direct opposition to what the Constitutional Court had ruled," despite the warnings of the chamber's lawyers.
As for Pérez, he said of the parliament bureau at the time: "Our duty is to reject proposals that contravene the constitution."
He also said that "we Socialists agreed to create a committee to study a constituent process, but rejected it when we saw what it was about."