The head of the Investigating Court number 7 of Barcelona, Francisco Miralles Carrió, has taken another step to send to the bench 45 National Police officers for allegedly causing injuries to different protesters, during the illegal referendum of 1-O 2017.
In an order issued on January 20, the magistrate agrees to initiate the abbreviated procedure against these agents and grants the Prosecutor’s Office and the rest of the parties a period of 40 days to request the opening of an oral trial. The case has been dismissed with respect to 17 other agents, as the facts have not been proven.
At the same time, the judge determines that neither the Generalitat nor the Professional Police Union can continue to appear as a private prosecution in the case. In the latter case, because there is no private citizen charged in the case for crimes of assault or disobedience to authority.
The Generalitat of Catalonia had appeared as an accusation in its capacity as owner of the polling stations (illegally used as voting centers), in which the incidents were recorded.
Since the dismissal has been agreed with respect to the material damages caused in the schools, the judge argues in his order, “the Generalitat de Catalunya lacks legitimacy as harmed by these facts”.
use of force
The judge attributes to the agents alleged minor crimes of injuries. Also other illicit provisions in articles 174 and 175 of the Penal Code, which They refer to torture and degrading treatment. The case investigated the police action on October 1, 2017 in all schools in Barcelona.
The judge has not been able to prove that his action was motivated by an express order from one of his superiors. For Miralles, it has been possible to see actions in at least half of the schools in Barcelona “disproportionate” that exceed, according to their criteria, the instructions given by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia.
It says that the agents applied a “unnecessary use of force” and that they failed to comply with police protocols on various occasions. It also highlights specific cases in which appreciates “degrading” attitudes, unannounced charges or excessive responses to a peaceful attitude of congregated voters.
Antonio Suárez Valdés, defense lawyer for several of the accused agents, believes “inconceivable in a rule of law that the coup leaders who have tried to subvert the constitutional order are going to be declared innocent of all the charges that were imputed to them by means of legislative modifications and that, on the other hand, the police officers who went to Catalonia following express orders to preserve the constitutional order and who were brutally attacked for doing so run the risk of being sentenced for carrying out their work”.
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