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Spanish judge takes deposed leadership of Catalan police to court

The sedition and criminal organization indictments also include a Home Affairs official and refer to referendum episode

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23 May 2018 01:11 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Magistrate for the Spanish National Court Carmen Lamela has finished the proceedings to take the former leadership of the Catalan police and the deposed leadership of the Home Affairs ministry to court over the independence referendum. This includes the former Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero, deputy Teresa Laplana, as well as police director Pere Soler and home affairs secretary César Puig (all deposed by direct rule by Madrid).

Judge Lamela indicted Trapero for one count of criminal organization and two of sedition for his actions on September 20 and October 1 of last year. These two dates respectively mark when Spanish police detained more than a dozen Catalan officials leading up to the referendum and raided government buildings, and on October 1, the day of the independence referendum itself. The charges stem from the Catalan police allegedly hindering or not aiding enough Spanish law enforcement in carrying out the arrests and attempting to block the vote.

The magistrate formally announced the indictment on April 16 and then confirmed it a week later, rejecting appeals by the defense. Trapero is indicted for one count of criminal organization and two counts of sedition—carrying sentences between 4 and 15 years—for September 20 and October 1, while Laplana is being charged with one count of sedition for September 20. Soler and Puig are instead indicted for one crime of criminal organization and sedition for October 1.

This is only one branch of the overall judicial case against independence. Catalan police leadership and Ministry of Interior officials are being prosecuted in the Spanish National Court; additionally, 25 individuals—including high-ranking Catalan government members, some currently in prison or abroad fighting extradition—are being charged in the Spanish Supreme Court. Meanwhile, some 30 individuals are being prosecuted in a local Barcelona court, investigated for preparations for the independence referendum. 

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  • Former police chief Josep Lluís Trapero at the Spanish National Court on April 16 2018 (by Javier Barbancho / ACN)

  • Former police chief Josep Lluís Trapero at the Spanish National Court on April 16 2018 (by Javier Barbancho / ACN)