Spain’s attorney general orders police to seize ballot boxes and voting material
Guardia Civil officers raid Tarragona printing firm while prosecutor launches suits against government and parliamentary bureau members
Spain’s attorney general, José Manuel Maza, has ordered security forces to intervene and prevent any preparations for organizing an independence referendum. Maza issued an order on Friday to the heads of the Mossos d'Esquadra, Guardia Civil and Spanish National Police forces to report any actions by officials and public servants towards preparing the October 1 vote, and to seize any materials to be used in the referendum, such as ballot boxes and voting papers.
Referring to previous sentences by Spain’s Constitutional Court on Catalonia’s “lack of powers” to hold a referendum on self-determination, the attorney general considers not only the calling of the vote to be illegal, but also any activities by authorities and public servants aimed at organizing and preparing any such vote.
Guardia Civil raid printing firm
In fact, state police have already begun to take action to prevent the referendum, with Guardia Civil officers raiding the printing firm, Indugraf Offset, in Constantí in Tarragona. Looking for materials destined to be used in the October 1 independence vote, officers searched the cars of employees leaving work. Later, about a dozen officers arrived with boxes and entered the company’s premises.
Government and bureau members accused
Also on Friday, Catalonia’s attorney general presented lawsuits in Catalonia’s high court against all members of the Catalan government and five members of the parliamentary bureau. The government is accused of perversion of justice, disobedience and misuse of public funds. Meanwhile, five members of the parliamentary bureau are accused of wrongfully admitting passage of the referendum bill, which was approved in the Catalan parliament on Wednesday and then promptly blocked by Spain’s Constitutional Court.