Mayor charged for criticizing police testifies in court
Local officials from Reus stand by public statement calling on Spanish police involved in referendum crackdown to leave the city
A Catalan mayor and three councilors accused by Spanish police of inciting hatred testified in court on Thursday. Reus mayor, Carles Pellicer, and the spokespeople of the PDeCat, ERC and Ara Reus political parties, Montserrat Vilella, Noemí Llauradó and Jordi Cervera, all appeared before a local judge but only answered questions put by their lawyers.
On leaving court, Pellicer argued that signing “a manifesto in favor of social harmony can never be considered an offense” and he said that he would do the same thing again in the same circumstances.
Outside, around a hundred people gathered to show their support for the officials, with a score of protesters calling the mayor and the councilors “traitors”.
“A manifesto in favor of social harmony can never be considered an offense”
Carles Pellicer · Reus mayor
The four local officials are among 14 people charged by the Spanish national police over a manifesto made public on October 4. The document called for the national police to leave the city and encouraged local hotel owners to deny officers accommodation. At the time, a contingent of Spanish riot police were staying in the Gaudí Hotel in the center of Reus.
The manifesto read out in public by local government members on October 4 criticized the Spanish police for their part in the crackdown of the October 1 independence referendum. In the run-up to the ballot, thousands of officers from around Spain were deployed in Catalonia in order to put a stop to the vote.
CUP councillors ignore summons
The councilors from the left-wing, pro-independence CUP party who were also charged, Marta Llorens, Mariona Quadrada and Oriol Ciurana, did not show up in court because they say no longer recognize the authority of the Spanish judiciary. However, they did appear outside the court to provide their support.