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Vice president Aragonès looked abroad for funding for independent Catalonia, police officer tells court

On Day 20 of trial of Catalan leaders, Guardia Civil officer says material seized in raids shows government was preparing for independence

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21 March 2019 02:56 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Day 20 of the trial of pro-independence leaders accused of organizing the 2017 referendum began on Thursday with testimony from another Guardia Civil police officer, who spoke about allegedly incriminating material found during raids of public buildings.

Having taken part in the raid of the economy ministry on September 20, 2017, the officer said documents were seized that showed the Catalan government was preparing to fund and organize Catalonia as an independent country.

In his testimony, the officer claimed evidence was discovered that the Catalan vice president, Pere Aragonès, who was then the economy secretary, was traveling abroad looking for international funding, and he mentioned a trip Aragonès made to Slovenia. Meanwhile, said the officer, the then finance secretary, Lluís Salvadó, was preparing to levy all taxes through the Catalan administration. 

The officer also said an email showed a request for 11 billion euros from China to fund the first steps of an independent Catalonia, while an invoice to the IBM company was found for €240,000 to develop a program for levying taxes through the Catalan tax office.

  • "For the first time in my professional career I saw the reflection of hatred"

    Anonymous Guardia Civil officer · He took part in referendum-related protests

Meanwhile, in the raid of the then finance secretary, Lluís Salvadó, the officer said that police found documents relating to the levying of taxes, customs, and land registry, among others.

Another officer who testified on Thursday morning said he had been part of a raid on the Unipost postal service, where police found boxes of envelopes with the Catalan government logo, containing letters informing citizens they had been picked as polling station officers

He said outside the Unipost warehouse "some 500 protesters" were "yelling" at the agents and "insulting" them. 

"For the first time in my professional career I saw the reflection of hatred," he added.

In all, 10 Guardia Civil police officers are due to testify as witnesses in the Supreme Court on Thursday, to give testimony on their part in the operation to dismantle the logistics of the referendum, which included raids of public buildings, private companies and homes.

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