Spanish police officers testify in court over referendum day violence

Five members of Spain's Guardia Civil are the first summoned to answer allegations over their actions during October 1 vote


Voters facing police officers on October 1 in Catalonia (by Carles Palacio)
Voters facing police officers on October 1 in Catalonia (by Carles Palacio) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 14, 2018 11:23 AM

Five Spanish police officers appeared in court on Wednesday accused of using violence to prevent voters from casting their ballots in the independence referendum last October 1. All the officers belong to Spain's Guardia Civil police force and are the first police officers summoned to court to explain their actions on the day of the vote. However, the officers did not attend the hearing in person, as they asked to give their testimony via video link.

The events under investigation took place in the southern town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita, in the Tarragona region. The police officers were identified thanks to the video recordings and pictures taken during the police operation.

Judge requests information on police operation

In addition, the judge in charge of the case requested information on the police operation that day, as well as the orders given to Spain's Guardia Civil officers to prevent the independence referendum from taking place.  

84 wounded due to police raids

Some 84 people were injured in the police raids in Sant Carles de la Ràpita on October 1, with 60 of them filing a complaint denouncing the events. As a response to the alleged Guardia Civil violence, the town's city council provided a team of four volunteer lawyers to defend those injured by police.

More than 1,000 injured around Catalonia

Throughout Catalonia, more than 250 people have lodged official complaints for injuries they claim were caused by Spanish police officers on the day of the independence referendum. According to Catalan government figures, a total of 1,066 people were injured on October 1.