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Court sends 30 to trial over independence referendum preparations

Defendants, including public officials and businesspeople, face charges less severe than imprisoned top politicians

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10 September 2020 03:09 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

A Barcelona court has sent 30 people to trial over their alleged roles in the controversial independence referendum on October 1, 2017, which fueled an unprecedented political clash between Catalonia and Spain.

The accused, including businesspeople and public officials during the independence push three years ago, face charges such as disobedience, misuse of public funds, deceit, and perversion of justice for allegedly helping preparations for the vote, which was vehemently opposed by Spanish authorities.

The independence bid was met by Spain with a harsh response, including a massive police operation to close polling stations on referendum day, the suspension of Catalonia’s self-rule for months, and the opening of several judicial cases to prosecute referendum organizers.

The Barcelona court trial is separate from that held at Spain’s Supreme Court in 2019, arguably the highest-profile case to emerge out of the 2017 events, which led to the sentencing of Catalonia’s most senior politicians and activists to lengthy prison terms for the crime of sedition.

Other judicial cases related to the October 1 referendum include that of former Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero, as well as the trial of Catalan parliament bureau members who allowed MPs to vote on independence laws, both of them pending verdict.

The 30 individuals indicted and their posts at the time:

Catalan government

1. Antoni Molons: Catalan government communications secretary; charged with misuse of public funds and perversion of justice.

2. Joaquim Nin: secretary general of the presidency department; charged with misuse of public funds, disobedience and perversion of justice.

3. Jaume Clotet: director general of Catalan government's communications department; charged with misuse of public funds.

4. Josep Ginesta: labor, families and social affairs secretary general; charged with misuse of public funds.

5. David Palanques: head of IT at the labor, families and social affairs department; charged with misuse of public funds.

6. David Franco: head of IT at the labor, families and social affairs department; charged with misuse of public funds.

7. Francesc Sutrías: director general of Catalan government's department of public assets; charged with misuse of public funds and disobedience.

8. Aleix Villatoro: secretary general of Catalan government's institutional relations department; charged with misuse of public funds, disobedience, revealing secrets and perversion of justice.

9. Amadeu Altafaj: Catalan government's delegate to the EU; charged with misuse of public funds and perversion of justice.

10. Natalia Garriga: head of integrated services at the secretary general's office of the vice presidency of the economy department; charged with misuse of public funds.

11. Josué Sallent: director of strategy and innovation at the Catalan government's telecommunications and IT center (CTTI); charged with misuse of public funds.

12. Xavier Puig: head of IT at the Catalan government's foreign action department; charged with misuse of public funds.

13. Meritxell Massó: secretary general of the Catalan government's governance department; charged with disobedience.

14. Montserrat Vidal: member of electoral processes department; charged with disobedience.

15. Marta Garsaball: authorized user of Brussels bank account in the name of the Catalan government's delegation; charged with falsifying documents.

16. Daniel Gimeno: head of data treatment for the register of voters in non-referendum votes; charged with revealing secrets.

Other institutions

17. Albert Royo: secretary general of Diplocat diplomacy council; charged with misuse of public funds and falsifying documents.

18. Frederic Udina: director of IDESCAT statistical institute; charged with disobedience and revealing secrets.

19. Joan Manel Gómez: head of risk at the information security center of the open administration consortium; charged with disobedience.

Businesspeople

20. Pablo Raventós: director general of Unipost; charged with misuse of public funds and disobedience.

21. Rosa Maria Rodriguez: director general of services at T-Systems; charged with misuse of public funds.

22. Josep Masolivé: employee of Fundacio.cat; charged with disobedience.

23. José María Gispert: manager of Indugraf Offset SA; charged with disobedience.

Media

24. Francesc Fabregas: administrator of El Vallenc; charged with misuse of public funds and disobedience.

25. Nuria Llorach: vice president of the CCMA (Catalan public TV and radio corporation); charged with disobedience.

26. Vicent Sanchis: head of TV3 public television; charged with disobedience.

27. Saül Gordillo: head of Catalunya Ràdio; charged with disobedience.

28. Martí Patxot: corporate, sales and marketing director of the CCMA; charged with disobedience.

Public servants

29. Mercedes Martínez: supervisor overseeing work on what was to be data collection center; charged with disobedience.

30. Rosa Vidal: Catalan governmnet's comptroller general; charged with misuse of public funds, disobedience and falsifying documents.

 

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  • Pro-independence supporters at a polling station during the 2017 referendum (by Jordi Altesa)

  • Pro-independence supporters at a polling station during the 2017 referendum (by Jordi Altesa)

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