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Senior police official implicates Catalan leaders in referendum preparations

Guardia Civil officer involved in investigation into 2017 vote names former speaker and government official as "key" players in bid to split from Spain

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15 April 2019 01:25 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

A senior official from the Guardia Civil police was the first witness to take the stand in Spain's Supreme Court on Monday morning, as week 10 of the trial of the Catalan independence leaders began.

Commenting on the findings of the investigation into the preparations for the 2017 referendum, the official implicated a number of independence leaders, including former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell.

Forcadell was the “channel for passing [independence] laws," said the officer, who added that Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero was also an “essential figure in the pro-independence strategy.”

As the deputy of Daniel Baena, the lieutenant colonel in charge of the Guardia Civil's judicial police at the time and who testified two weeks ago, the witness was involved in drawing up the reports providing the foundation for the case against the leaders.

The ultimate goal of the pro-independence leaders was holding the referendum, the official told the court, adding: "The referendum had to be done in order to take the next step: declaring independence."

The officer also said that former Catalan government official Josep Maria Jové was a “key point” for their investigation, and evidence seized in a raid of his home suggests that Jové “was the person who had to authorize the expenses to hold the referendum.”

“Depending on Spain’s response, we’ll adjust the intensity of the conflict," the Guardia Civil official quoted from the documents seized from Jové, who was the right-hand man of former vice president Oriol Junqueras.

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  • A screenshot shows the judges presiding over the Catalan Trial in the Supreme Court on March 26 (courtesy of the Supreme Court)

  • A screenshot shows the judges presiding over the Catalan Trial in the Supreme Court on March 26 (courtesy of the Supreme Court)