Trapero avoids prison

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

The Public Prosecutor of the National Court recommended Chief of the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan Police) Josep Lluís Trapero be remanded into custody without bail, today. The judge in today’s hearing did not accept this recommendation.

Trapero will however have to appear every 15 days in the court, he is barred from leaving the country and must hand over his passport. He must have a constand contact phone number and contact person, who will be charged with receiveing official notifications with regards to his status, and if he is found to be in violation of any of these conditions, will be remanded into custody.

The Prosecutor’s Office recommended custody without bail, on the basis of the ‘seriousness of the facts’, the crime of sedition, and Trapero’s position as the Chief of the Mossos and alleging the crime was committed repeatedly. The public prosecutor argued the Mossos “did not provide the necessary cordons to provide a corridor through which detainees could be brought to Ministry of the Economy; did not take measures early in the morning to prevent the crowds from gathering; help in protecting seized effects which were in official Civil Guard vehicles, or adequately defend and cordon exits at the Judicial Courts for the Civil Guard.”

What the Prosecutor’s Office did not do, which had been expected after presenting the new Civil Guard report 10 days ago, was to extend the accusation of sedition to cover the events of October 1st. To be clear, the complaint heard today relates solely to the events of the 20th and 21st of September.

But the judge stated that “accounts of Trapero’s actions during the events of September 20th and 21th do not yet appear to be detailed enough to the point of being able to link them at this time to such serious events as those which occurred on those days.” In addition, the judge kept the events of October 1st separate, despite attempts to the contrary from the Public Prosecutor.

The judge, Carmen Lamela, conceded in her speech that “some elements” of the public prosecution’s case were valid, but added that they were weakened by witness accounts heard today in hearing.

Testimony from Civil Guard and Judicial Secretariat agents coincided with Trapero’s assertions; stating that cordons were put in place, opening access corridors which in the end were never used. The witnesses confirmed that by 11:00am “it was already impossible to evict the number of people who had gathered” and that even by 9:30 a.m. “there were so many people [one] could not even more a few metres. ”

Trapero came to the hearing Monday morning, and testified for nearly 2 hours, responding to the charge of sedition, which was filed by the Prosecutor’s Office on September 22nd, two days after demonstrations which related to the arrest of 14 senior Catalan government officials, charged with organizing the independence referendum.

Ten days ago, in his first declaration, the Police Chief did not convince the Public Prosecutor. Josep Lluís Trapero replied to all the parties and outlined his version of the facts. But at that time, the public prosecutor let it be known that his response to the accusation was based on “unconvincing exculpatory statements.”

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