Spain’s ex-interior minister denies ‘giving any orders’ to police during the referendum
Juan Ignacio Zoido claims he was not in charge of the operation to stop the vote
The former Spanish interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido (People's Party), testified on Thursday afternoon in the independence trial.
Zoido was in charge of Spain's law enforcement during the violent crackdown of the vote by Spanish police on October 1, 2017, which left 1,000 injured.
However, Zoido claimed he was not in charge of the police operation to stop the Catalan independence referendum in 2017 and denied giving “any orders.”
As the then-interior minister, Zoido was the politician responsible for security affairs in Spain. Yet, he rejected controlling the police operation and put on the spotlight colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, the coordinator of law enforcement agencies at the time of the vote.
The former minister took the stand after several officials also testified in the morning, including the Basque president, Íñigo Urkullu, who said it was former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, who was the first to ask him to act as a "mediator" in the political crisis.
Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau, also spoke on Thursday morning.
"If we are here for a referendum, there should be millions of people here," she said during her testimony.
Other Catalan officials spoke before the judge on Thursday morning, including MP in Congress Gabriel Rufián, and former MP in Parliament Albano Dante Fachin.