Alleged jihadist detained in seaside town of Cambrils
Prisoner was frequently in contact with active terrorists and sought new followers
Prisoner was frequently in contact with active terrorists and sought new followers
Spain’s High Court in Catalonia says words are "extremely reckless"
Joan Coma, a pro-independence radical left CUP councillor in Vic, a town 60 kilometres from Barcelona, was arrested on Tuesday for ‘insurrection’ when calling for disobedience against the Spanish institutions in a plenary session a year ago. Two police officers in civilian clothes took him to Madrid’s ‘Audiencia Nacional’ court, where he had to declare this Wednesday after refusing to do so in October. Coma was freed without charges but the magistrate Ismael Moreno asked for the removal of Coma’s passport. “I hope to have a Catalan one soon”, Coma stated before the press soon after leaving the ‘Audiencia Nacional’ court. Hundreds of representatives from CUP, pro-independence left wing ERC and the Catalan European Democratic Party PDeCAT showed their support for Coma on Wednesday before many city halls throughout Catalonia and before the ‘Audiencia Nacional’ court.
Joan Coma, city councillor in Vic, a town 60 kilometres from Barcelona, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly ‘inciting to sedition’ when calling for disobedience against the Spanish institutions in a plenary session a year ago. After refusing to do so in October, this Wednesday he testified before Madrid’s ‘Audiencia Nacional’ and was cleared of charges, although his passport has been taken away by the magistrate. “We are up against a state with a strongly anti-democratic nature”, stated pro-independence radical left CUP’s Coma after leaving the Court and called on those who defend Catalonia’s independence but also those who don’t want to join efforts to “overcome the current stage”. Coma’s arrest is to be added to that of Mayor of Berga, Montse Venturós, who was accused of an ‘electoral crime’ for refusing to take down a pro-independence flag from the city hall’s façade on two occasions.
Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, explained this Friday that the Government has presented an appeal before Spain’s High Court, the ‘Audiencia Nacional’, denouncing Adif’s lack of investment in the short and medium railway network in Catalonia. Rull accuses the Spanish public body in charge of railway infrastructure and the Spanish Ministry for Infrastructure of not complying with the agreed investment. “We open the judicial way because the political one between both governments has proved to be broken”, he stated. Rull pointed out that Adif committed to investing 306 million euros in Catalonia’s railway network and only so far only 4.2% of this has been carried out. “Therefore, there is a flagrant failure to fulfil”, he insisted. Current Spanish Vice-president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, responded to the Government’s action and stated that “this proves that those who think they are right turn to the legal mechanisms available”.
The judicial process for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering against family members of the President of Catalonia between 1980 and 2003 Jordi Pujol continues. This Wednesday, Pujol testified before Spain's High Court, 'La Audiencia Nacional', and gave further details on his father’s legacy, some €4 million which it is alleged was kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing tax authorities. He insisted that his father, Florenci, left the sum for Jordi Pujol’s wife and children, not for him, due to the risk of retaliation for his political activities in the years after Franco’s death. The founder of the centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU in the 1970s also set himself apart from some of his sons’ businesses and denied being a corrupt politician. His wife, Marta Ferrusola, refused to answer any questions from either the judge or the prosecution.
The independence declaration approved by the Parliament this past Monday will in the end be taken before the court. The Spanish Council of State has unanimously approved the appeal that the Spanish government presented to the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) and considered the independence proposal to violate four articles of the Spanish Constitution. According to the Council, it is an attempt against Spain's "national sovereignty", "the indivisible unity of Spain" and "the subjection of the public powers to the law", besides other articles of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. Spain's public prosecutor’s office also commented on the declaration and warned that the police have been called to investigate and denounce any "sedition crime" against Spain's government, referring to the Parliament's foreseen disobedience to the TC's resolutions.
The judge at Madrid’s 'Audiencia Nacional', which is a court investigating and ruling on organised crime, terrorism and international fiscal offenses, announced on Wednesday the launching of an ‘oral trial’ against FC Barcelona itself, its current President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and his predecessor and friend, Sandro Rosell, over Neymar Jr's signing. In the end, neither Rosell's resignation in January 2014, nor the payment of a complementary tax declarations have prevented a judge from requesting the opening of a trial against the Catalan club and its former and current presidents. However, it is not clear whether the trial will take place in the end, since there are some doubts about the court jurisdiction. The Audiencia National judge is accusing all of themof alleged corporate and tax offenses in the Brazilian player’s signing. The judge believes that the total amount of the transfer was €83.3 million and not the €57.1 million stated by Rosell in 2013. In addition, the judge believe Rosell hid the real figure from the club's balance sheets.
On Friday, the Spanish Police Force arrested 8 people in an operation against Jihadist terrorism. Six of the arrests were carried out in Catalonia (in Figueres, Malgrat de Mar, Manlleu, Piera, l'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Terrassa), while the remaining 2 were made in the provinces of Ávila and Ciudad Real. The detainees were allegedly spreading Islamic State propaganda, which was being co-ordinated from Syria and Iraq by the terrorist organisation. In addition, they may have also been in charge of recruiting people to fight in Syria and Iraq and to commit terrorist attacks in Spain. All 8 have Spanish nationality and 5 are of Moroccan origin. The 6 people arrested in Catalonia have been moved from Barcelona to the Madrid-based 'Audiencia Nacional' Court with 3 vans and 7 cars in order to testify and to be put under judicial custody.
Spain’s National Court, a Madrid-based high court in charge of investigating and ruling on transnational felonies, announced on Tuesday the indictment of FC Barcelona – as a legal person – and its President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, for alleged fiscal fraud regarding Neymar Jr’s transfer and signing for the Catalan club. The judge considers there to be enough evidence to suggest that the Catalan club and Bartomeu could have committed fiscal felony in the tax declarations for the signing of the Brazilian star. Bartomeu will have to testify with his lawyers before the Madrid-based judge on 13 February. FC Barcelona issued a press statement in which it expresses its “surprise, indignation and disagreement”. Furthermore the Catalan club announced that it shall act determinedly to defend its interests and honour.
On Thursday, Oleguer Pujol, the youngest son of the former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol Soley, was formally indicted for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering. The Spanish Police and the Public Prosecutor searched his house and several of his companies looking for files regarding real estate operations. This makes Oleguer the third son of the historical leader of conservative Catalan nationalism to be indicted for fiscal offenses. Furthermore, on Wednesday another judge indicted 11 people related to the former President's oldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola – who seems to be at the centre of almost all the investigations. In addition, the judge has requested the freezing of his bank accounts in Andorra, from which he transferred €2.4 million to Mexico just after his father's fiscal fraud confession in July. On top of this, a judge from Liechtenstein is investigating the former Catalan President for alleged money laundering, after requests from the Spanish Police. Jordi Pujol senior has denied having had any bank account in the Alpine country.
The judicial process for alleged tax fraud against family members of the former President of Catalonia Jordi Pujol (who led centre-right Catalan nationalism from the mid-1970s until 2003) has started this week with the testimony of his oldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrussola, in front of the Spain's High Court 'Audiencia Nacional'. Judge Pablo Ruz is investigating the tax fraud confessed by Pujol senior in late July, which shocked the whole of Catalan society, as well as alleged money laundering, influence peddling and corruption offenses that might have been committed by some of Pujol's sons. This Monday, the oldest son denied having earned any illegal commission and stressed that the tenders in which he worked as an advisor were all carried out at least 2 years after his father left the Catalan Government. He also criticised the annual report drafted by the Spanish Police for being vague and inexact.
The judge Eloy Velasco has accepted the case, that deals with the attacks against members of parliament commited by protesters against the spending cuts. There are calls on the Prosecutor of Barcelona to release the proceedings and recordings of the investigation