Assailants of Catalan cultural center in Madrid ordered to enter prison within a month

Far-right attack took place on Catalonia’s 2013 National Day

Screenshot of footage showing the far-right assault on the Blanquerna cultural center, in Madrid, on the 2013 Catalan National Day
Screenshot of footage showing the far-right assault on the Blanquerna cultural center, in Madrid, on the 2013 Catalan National Day / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 16, 2021 10:07 AM

The High Court of Madrid has ruled that those responsible for the 2013 attack on the Blanquerna Catalan cultural centre in the Spanish capital must enter prison within one month. 

The convicted will now have to collect their prison entry orders in person between November 25-29, and they will then have ten more days to enter the prison of their choice.

The group of 14 far-right supporters were initially sentenced to prison terms of between six and eight months by Spain's National Court, but this was later raised to around four years, only to be reduced again after the Constitutional Court upheld some of their appeals, meaning the Supreme Court then had to resentence them. 

In July 2020, the Supreme Court reduced the convictions for all 14 from around to between two years and seven months, and two years and nine months, after the Constitutional Court's decision in January 2020.

In addition, the High Court of Madrid has sent a letter to the Supreme Court to clarify the status of the pardon processes of two of the convicted, whose entry into prison have been suspended for now.

Previously, two of the group were missing from authorities and were subject to arrest warrants. One of them has already been arrested and is serving his sentence in an open prison in Madrid, while the other has not yet been found.

The Blanquerna assault

The attack on the Blanquerna Cultural Center in Madrid took place during a celebration of Catalonia's national day on September 11, 2013.

The men carrying far-right symbols stormed the center when the Catalan government delegate, Josep Maria Bosch Bessa, was about to speak. He was physically assaulted, as well as the then MP in Spain's Congress, Josep Sánchez Llibre. They destroyed the stage, threw the Catalan flag to the ground, and threw tear gas canisters before leaving a few minutes later.

They were carrying Spanish flags, and symbols related to the far-right and Francoist ideologies, and chanted "Catalonia is Spain."

One of the convicted is Manuel Andrino, the leader of Falange Española de las JONS, the political party of former dictator Francisco Franco, which is legal.

Sentence comes 'late' for pro-independence camp

ERC spokesman in the Spanish Congress, Gabriel Rufián, said on Tuesday that the imprisonment orders come "late," as it arrives eight years after the events took place and five after the first conviction.

According to Rufián, the attack "was the prelude to the arrival in Congress of 52 Vox MPs with very similar ideas and forms."