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Cs alleges Catalan police officer 'covertly' acted as bodyguard for Carles Puigdemont

Prosecutor to investigate claims while unionist party takes president to task over his refusal to remove yellow ribbon symbols from public buildings

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20 March 2019 05:50 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The public prosecutor in Catalonia has begun an investigation into allegations that a Catalan police officer providing security advice to the home affairs department acted as a bodyguard for former president Carles Puigdemont in his travels around Europe.

The investigation is the result of a legal complaint by the unionist Ciutadans (Cs) opposition party, which alleges that in July 2018 the home affairs minister, Miquel Buch, "covertly" appointed the Mossos d'Esquadra officer to provide Puigdemont with personal protection.

Should the prosecutor decide the allegations have substance, it could lead to home affairs officials being charged with aiding and abetting and misuse of public funds. To back their case, Cs provided the prosecutor with images and social media messages.

Ciutadans on yellow ribbons

Meanwhile, in parliament on Wednesday, the leader of Cs, Inés Arrimadas, accused Quim Torra of doing "whatever he feels like," after the president refused to comply with the order by the electoral authority to take down yellow ribbon symbols from government buildings.

  • "Which part of 'take down the banner' don't you understand?"

    Inés Arrimadas · Ciutadans leader in Catalonia

"Which part of 'take down the banner' don't you understand?" Arrimadas asked Torra, who answered he would "never" prohibit anything and would always defend freedom of expression and democracy.

The government has so far refused to comply with the electoral authority's orders to remove the yellow ribbon symbols, in support of independence leaders on trial, as it denies they are "partisan." 

Cs and PP call for action against CUP and Arran

Also during Wednesday's session in parliament, Cs spokesman, Carlos Carrizosa, criticized the far-left CUP party for applauding the "fascist attacks" by the pro-independence youth movement, Arran, on the Barcelona headquarters of the PP and Cs parties.

Carrizosa's criticism comes after the head of Cs, Albert Rivera, called for CUP to lose its public funding for supporting Arran's daubing of the party's HQ with graffiti, while the PP leader, Pablo Casado, called for Arran to be outlawed.

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  • The leader of Ciutadans in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, holding a picture with a yellow ribbon in the Catalan parliament on March 20, 2019 (by Guillem Roset)

  • The leader of Ciutadans in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, holding a picture with a yellow ribbon in the Catalan parliament on March 20, 2019 (by Guillem Roset)

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