Molinero accuses De los Cobos and the Spanish law enforcement corps of failing to comply with the police operation on October 1The inspector confirmed the witness account of Ferran López and stated that the Mossos did comply with it
Josep Maria Camps
Mossos inspector Joan Carles Molinero in the Supreme Court on Thursday
Mossos inspector Joan Carles Molinero confirmed and reinforced the narrative made on Wednesday by fellow inspector Ferran López on what happened in autumn 2017.
Molinero was then at the head of the Police Headquarters for Central Coordination of the Mossos and, along with López and Josep Lluís Trapero, he belonged to the agency's prefecture.
He never saw the action plans of the the Policía Nacional and the Guardia Civil
When questioned by Xavier Melero, the defence counsel of Joaquim Forn, Molinero stated that he never got to see the action plans of the Policía Nacional or of the Guardia Civil:
"I never got to saw them, and I remember that the major of Mossos d'Esquadra, Josep Lluís Trapero, told us that, on the day he went to the meeting with the State Attorney General where these action plans were to be submitted, we had already brought the first document, the action plan, and I remember that when the major returned from this meeting he told us that the Policía Nacional had not submitted any plans for operations."
"I think I recall that the Guardia Civil submitted some information, a draft, of what would be their definitive action plan, but I believe we never got these two action plans."
The witness stated that those two law enforcement agencies did not act according to the operation that had been agreed upon and approved by the coordinator, Guardia Civil colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, and he stated that they could have done the same as the Mossos:
"If I may, I would like to state that this act also empowered the Policía Nacional Corps and the Cuardia Civil to carry out the same intervention we did during the weekend, with the 4,400 reports we drafted."
No "disagreements", but rather, "a difference in opinions"
The statement began with questioning from Vox attorney and secretary-General Javier Ortega, who was the party that had requested the witness, along with the defence counsels of Junqueras, Romeva and Forn.
When questioned by Ortega, Molinero denied that the Mossos had any "disagreements" with Pérz de los Cobos:
"I believe that rather than disagreements there was a difference in opinions, and that is what we were told. But not over the appointment of Mister De los Cobos."
"Obviously, that is what these coordination meetings were for, to discuss these subjects, these discrepancies or these differences in opinion."
Molinero explained that Ferran López was always the interlocutor with Pérez de los Cobos, that he did not attend any meetings and that he was aware of the contents of these meetings through López.
According to his statement, López never said that the Guardia Civil colonel appointed as coordinator ever questioned the Mossos operation:
"It was a proposal for the deployment of the Mossos corps that was accepted by the person in charge of coordinating the operation, colonel De los Cobos."
The Mossos did the job that was entrusted to them
Molinero defended that, on October 1, the Mossos fulfilled the role that had been assigned to them both in the orders from the High Court of Justice of Catalonia and the instructions approved by Pérez de los Cobos, and that they intervened in all polling stations:
"Identification for the people in charge of the polling stations was requested and obtained, the people there were warned of the interlocutory order of the District Attorney of Catalonia, they were reminded of the facts or instructions contained in said deed, and almost 2,400 reports were drafted and submitted to the District Attorney of Catalonia."
The inspector also confirmed López's suggestion that Guardia Civil and Policía Nacional brass should have carried out follow-up and coordination tasks for the police operations from the Mossos command centre on October 1:
"We suggested, Ferran López suggested the possibility, from the get-go, that a central coordination centre should be established in a Mossos police station in Barcelona and three more coordination centres in Tarragona, Lleida and Girona, in which law enforcement agencies were asked to be present in order to carry out the joint operation on October 1."
"And this joint stance adopted by the Mossos d'Esquadra, as explained by Ferran López in the coordination meetings, was initially accepted by mister De los Cobos. Later, there was a difference in opinions and a different style of coordination was adopted."
Up to 3 million people mobilised on October 1
According to the witness, the Mossos drafted reports according to which up to 3 million people were expected to be mobilised on October 1, and, a few days earlier, they had told Forn and Puigdemont of the risk of confrontation with law enforcement agencies it could entail:
"What we stated, both in the first meeting and, in greater detail, in the second, is that our intelligence and information services were working on a forecast that on October 1 there would be... I believe reports spoke of between 2 and 3 million people on the streets."
"What we stated is that the combination of these 2 or 3 million people with the police actions to be carried out both by us and the other law enforcement agencies would possibly lead to confrontations between police forces and citizens congregated in the polling stations."
Should "a tragedy" occur, Puigdemont would declare independence
Molinero gave more details with regard to what inspector López revealed in his statement on Wednesday concerning Puigdemont saying he would declare independence on 1 October:
"On 28 September, when the meeting was over, when we were practically getting up from the table and saying goodbye, I remember Trapero made one last comment, much like... I think I recall he said "Mister President, I hope we will not have to regret any significant tragedies on Sunday."
"Those were more or less his words, to which the president of the Generalitat answered that, should a tragedy occur, I think I recall, "I will declare the independence of Catalonia at that very moment," yes."
- Catalan independence trial