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Rubber bullet victim: 'no reason' for police to fire during referendum

Roger Español testifies in Barcelona court saying prosecutor tried to "minimize" behavior of Spanish officers

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15 February 2019 04:53 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

A man who lost the sight in one eye due to a police rubber bullet during the 2017 independence referendum has told a Barcelona court that there was "no reason" for Spanish officers to fire on the protesters.

Roger Español, who testified on Friday as defendant and suspect, admitted to the court that he had moved barriers but that "at no time" was it to hurt anyone and that his intention had been to "block the way" of the police vans.

"I had the idea that every minute they [the police] were held up was a minute less they would have to do the same in another school," Español told the press outside court, where some hundred people gathered to support him.

  • "[Prosecutors] tried as always to minimize the actions of the police and to blame and exaggerate the reactions of the Catalan people on October 1"

    Roger Español · Rubber bullet victim

Español went on to explain that the prosecutor, whose questions he refused to answer, "tried as always to minimize the actions of the police and to blame and exaggerate the reactions of the Catalan people on October 1."

As for Español's lawyer, Andrés García Berrio, he said that, despite the "impediments of the Spanish interior ministry and the police, we continue to work as a civil society to identify the officer who fired at Roger Español."

As for the lawyer representing Spanish police officers charged over incidents during the referendum, Antonio Suárez-Valdés, he said "there is an attempt to build a case against the police to keep the hate alive for Spain and its police."

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  • Roger Español, police rubber bullet victim, appears in court accused of throwing barriers to police officers (by Miquel Codolar)

  • Roger Español, police rubber bullet victim, appears in court accused of throwing barriers to police officers (by Miquel Codolar)