Catalan police former chief appears in court
Josep Lluís Trapero faces criminal charges of sedition for his role in the independence referendum
The former chief of the Catalan police, Josep Lluís Trapero, appeared in a Madrid court on Friday for his role in the pro-independence roadmap. Trapero faces criminal charges of sedition, which carry up to 15 years in jail, for being seen as a facilitator of the referendum on independence last October.
After a two-hour hearing, Spain's Attorney General requested a bail of 50,000 euros for Trapero. The court has yet to announce whether it accepts the prosecutor's petition or not.
Trapero was in charge of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s own law enforcement agency, during the crucial weeks that preceded and followed the October 1 vote. The referendum, which would subsequently lead to a declaration of independence, was deemed illegal by the Spanish justice. Spain’s National Court investigates Trapero for allegedly failing to abide by court rulings that ordered police to stop the vote.
Trapero was dismissed as the Mossos chief last October, when the Spanish government responded to the declaration of independence by imposing direct rule on Catalonia and dismissing all government members. While he still works for the Catalan police, he no longer holds major responsibilities.
The Spanish colonel responsible for the police operation on referendum day, Diego Pérez de los Cobos, accused Trapero of connivance with the organizers of the referendum.
In a parallel investigation, the Supreme Court charged 28 pro-independence leaders with crimes of rebellion for pursuing independence despite Spain’s opposition. In total, 12 people have been held behind bars at some point during the judicial process, and four of them are still in jail.
Spain’s Attorney General does not indent to ask for the preemptive imprisonment of Trapero, but admitted that the criteria might change after the hearing.