'We didn’t know they were letters for the referendum,' say postal service employees
Former Unipost managers deny knowledge of Catalan government's order to distribute material for the 2017 vote
“We didn’t know that they were letters for the referendum, only that they were ordered by the Catalan government,” a former employee of the Unipost postal service told the Supreme Court on Monday in the trial of independence leaders.
Albert Planas, the former head of production at Unipost, which was hired by the Catalan government to distribute referendum material ahead of the 2017 vote that was declared illegal by the courts, was the first of three employees to take the stand.
A number of the leaders on trial are accused of misuse of public funds in financing the referendum, but Planas told the court he knew nothing of the order's payment details: “Dealing with bills was not my responsibility in Unipost,” he said.
"I've never talked to anyone from the Catalan government in all the years working for Unipost"
Antonio Manuel Santos · Unipost former head of production
His former colleague, Francisco Juan Fuentes, who was Unipost's head of distribution, also said he knew little about the government's order, and only learned that the letters contained referendum material when Spanish police seized them after raiding the Unipost offices.
Fuentes also said that Guardia Civil officers entered Unipost’s offices without a court order, and that, in any case, the company "blocked the delivery because the letters did not come with a delivery note."
🔴 Francisco Juan Fuentes on the Catalan government order to distribute referendum material: “We blocked the shipment because the letters didn’t come with a delivery note” pic.twitter.com/xBw0wMNv4y— Catalan News (@catalannews) March 11, 2019
Following him on the stand was the former head of production of Unipost, Antonio Manuel Santos, who said "I've never talked to anyone from the Catalan government in all the years working for Unipost."
Santos also said he had no knowledge of the payment details for the government's order, as he never dealt with billing or payments while he was working at the postal service.
The fourth witness called to testify on Monday was David Palanques, an officer at the Catalan government IT center, who declined to give testimony because he is under investigation in a separate case.