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Five-year sentence for Scot arrested during Pablo Hasel imprisonment protests

Barcelona provincial court finds him guilty of attacks and disorderly behavior while carrying a skateboard

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22 June 2022 01:14 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

William Aitken, a Scottish man who has lived in Barcelona for the past five years, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison by Barcelona's provincial court, which has found him guilty of attacks and disorderly behavior while carrying a skateboard during the protests against rapper Pablo Hasel's imprisonment in February 2021.

The ruling, which can be appealed, states that Aitken moved garbage containers on the Gran Via avenue while throwing rocks at the Catalan Mossos d’Esquadra police. The protest on February 17 started in the Jardinets de Gràcia area. 

The provincial court believes the testimony of two police officers. The Scottish man was detained with around 30 other people on the second night of demonstrations.

The 30-year-old UK citizen had been deemed a flight risk as he is no longer from an EU member state following Brexit.

The Barcelona resident has been sentenced to one year and four months for disorderly behavior and three years and nine months for attacks against authorities. After the detention, the prosecutors’ office had requested for Aitken to be expelled from Spain, but the court has ruled against it. 

Aitken's Alerta Solidària, a left-wing pro-independence legal defense team, has already announced they will appeal the decision as it is disproportionate and during the trial there were several contradictions between law enforcement agents. 

"We cannot understand the forcefulness to condemn based on attacks, and adding the aggravating part, as we do not have any police officer injured reported, any vehicle nor furniture damaged, nor any rock or object being thrown," Alerta Solidària says in a statement. "Only, once again, it is the police word against ours," the text continues.

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  • Demonstrators in Barcelona burn rubbish containers during the protests against the arrest of Pablo Hasel in February, 2021 (by Laura Fíguls)

  • Demonstrators in Barcelona burn rubbish containers during the protests against the arrest of Pablo Hasel in February, 2021 (by Laura Fíguls)

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