Guardia Civil officer tells Supreme Court former official claimed protests were people’s ‘will’

Image of the Virgen de la Arrixaca hospital in Murcia. Credit: Google maps - Francisco Sanchez

A FORMER senior Catalan regional authority official on trial over the 2017 independence referendum and declaration claimed secession was the people’s will, a police witness has said.

A Guardia Civil lieutenant told the Supreme Court, where former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras and 11 others are standing trail, that the comments came during pro-independence demonstrations.

The officer was policing the protests which took place on September 2017, days before the vote on October 1.

Junqueras, the region’s former Vice President, is charged with sedition, rebellion and embezzlement over the 2017 vote which he denies.

Prosecutors questioning the officer were told Junqueras had made the comments during a brief exchange.

“It was about an hour or so when he was leaving and said goodbye and he said I had to understand that the protests were the will of the people.

“I told him that he had to understand that I was doing my job,” the officer told prosecutors.

The officer added Guardia Civil officers and police in riot gear were met with threats and insults during the demonstrations.

“Protests threw bottles, they spat, they repeated insults like ‘b*******’ and ‘fascists’. This went on from 9.30am until 2 or 3am the following morning,” the officer said.

The testimony comes as Junqueras previously told the court he was a “political prisoner”.

“Voting is not a crime, but preventing votes by force is,” Junqueras said.

Junqueras faces 25 years in prison for the most serious offence of sedition if found guilty. The trial continues.

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Joe Gerrard

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