Experts take the stand in Catalan trial after three months of witness testimonies

Next is the documentary evidence phase, where footage of police violence will be shown, but without comment from the defenses

Four experts were heard together at the Supreme Court
Four experts were heard together at the Supreme Court / ACN

ACN | Madrid

May 22, 2019 02:08 PM

After three months, 45 sessions and over 400 witnesses, the Catalan trial entered a new phase on Wednesday morning. 

Experts and specialists took the stand for cross-examinations by both the prosecutors and the defenses, the Supreme Court having agreed to look at written reports for the case.

The judges overlooked some of the complaints from defense lawyers, who called on the court to dismiss some experts on the grounds that they had not seen their reports before the session.

Giving evidence for the prosecution, in reference to the accusation of misuse of public funds, one expert from Spain's tax office said it did not matter whether work commissioned - such as material for the referendum - was paid for or not, it still constituted an offense.

The experts also confirmed that publicity material commissioned for the 2017 referendum was actually produced, whether or not it was later paid for by public money.

Documentary evidence phase

The expert phase is scheduled to last two sessions until Thursday, while three sessions have been allocated next week to the long-awaited documentary evidence phase.

The judges have spent months refusing to view footage of the Spanish police violence on October 1, 2017, despite repeated requests by the defenses, insisting that the witness testimonies be cross-referenced.

Instead, the court will see all the clips in the upcoming separate phase of the trial, during which lawyers on neither side will be permitted to comment on the footage nor relate them to the earlier witness statements.

Once this part of the trial is complete, both the prosecutors and defenses will present their final reports, in which they will make their proposed verdicts, and the prosecuted individuals will have a final word before the trial is ready for judgment. 

The verdict is not expected to be out before the summer break in August.