Salellas anticipates Marchena over the veto on the videos of the accusationsThe President of the Supreme Court, judge Manuel Marchena, does not allow a witness to comment on the videos while stating having the same criteria for both accusations and defenses
Salellas, during the interrogation of the Supreme Court prosecutor to the officer in charge of the Judicial Police of the Policía Nacional during October 1
"A witness giving his opinion, summarizing and commenting on the videos is inappropriate at this stage in the proceedings."
This statement could have been pronounced by Judge Manuel Marchena, but in the 25th session of the trial we heard it coming from lawyer Benet Salellas, defence counsel of Jordi Cuixart.
Defense counsels have repeatedly seen how Marchena closed the door to any possibility of watching videos of October 1 or September 20, under the pretext that they would be viewed later on, when the so-called documentary phase of the trial arrived.
On Tuesday, Salellas anticipated Marchena during the interrogation of prosecutor Javier Zaragoza to the chief inspector of the judicial police brigade of the Policía Nacional of Barcelona, now retired.
Supreme Court prosecutor Javier Zaragoza
The witness was speaking about a report he filed related to the videos recorded with the cameras placed over the helmets of some police officers. He was starting to speak of a "passive resilience" that became "active." At this point, Salellas cut him down stating that this assessment "was inappropriate"
"The witness is talking about video viewing reports that are actually incorporated into the cause, and as the court will be able to check them directly it seems to us that a witness giving an opinion, summarizing or commenting on videos is inappropriate at this stage in the proceedings, Your Honour."
Marchena listening to the arguments of Salellas in the 25th session of the Catalan independence trial
Marchena admitted that he was about to interrupt him, while making sure that he holds the same criteria both for the videos of the defense and the accusation:
"I was just about to interrupt him right now, although what he said up until this moment in relation to the dumping, recording criteria, etc. does not imply any valuing element. And I am sure that His Excellency Mr. Prosecutor will not ask him for it, although the response of the witness had that particular direction. The court does not need this, neither in the case of videos coming from the defense nor for videos coming from the accusation."
After Marchena's warning, the prosecutor's interrogation lasted less than five minutes.
Discussion around the videos
In this occasion, Marchena did not accuse Salellas of wanting to "supplant the court", as he suggested him last week, when he raised a question to a witness on whether human rights had been violated in Catalonia in the fall of 2017.
Throughout the trial, and whenever defenses asked the court to admit the viewing of videos in order to contrast the credibility of witnesses, Marchena remained inflexible.
One of the fiercest discussions took place between judge Marchena and lawyer Àlex Solà, defence counsel of Cuixart, when the first reproached to the latter insisting in that particular request, in spite of knowing the answer. "All reiteration is an empty gesture, just for the show," he said.
Marchena made the exception in the interrogation to Jordi Sànchez, when he finished accessing the viewing of a fragment of a live connection of the 3/24 channel the night of the demonstration before the Ministry of Economy, on September 20. He let the projection of the video, but in the end he asked lawyer Marina Roig to admit that "it was not indispensable", although they had seen it "with pleasure".
He also admitted watching a video, which shows police charges, during the interrogation to the former Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy.
When will the videos be watched?
The images of the events that have reached the Supreme Court will be watched in the documentary phase of the trial. We are currently in the testimonial phase, then, phase expert will come, along with statements by authors of technical reports commissioned by the parties or by the examining judge. Finally, the documentary phase will follow, when documents presented by both parties present at the trial will be reviewed and reproduced in the court.
Once this phase has finished, it will be the moment for reports. The accusations may ratify or change the offenses attributed to the accused, and the defenses will also have to present their conclusion reports. Before the trial is ready for sentencing, the accused will take the floor for one last time in the trial and state their final words.
Unclear facts around the videos
In the session on Tuesday, doubts over the videos recorded by national police officers with their helmet cameras have also been arisen.
Defence counsel Jordi Pina, in charge of the defense of Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull
The defenses have tried to find out whether there was a pre-selection of the videos included in the cause or if agents had any orders on when to activate or to stop the camera recording. The two witnesses that have already spoken about it, the previously mentioned inspector and another comissioner, said they didn't know anything about it.
The inspector stated that "there were moments of active, passive resistence, and some other moments in which nothing happened", even though the prosecutor was asking him over the videos "of the incidents."
They have both neither been able to explain why there are images of proceedings in the counties of Barcelona and Girona, but not of Lleida or Tarragona.
The comissioner who watched the images explained that the scientific police had overturned them and that he had no way of knowing whether they had been edited or manipulated. He certified that they were videos of the GoPro cameras of agents. He watched 66 videos of about twenty proceedings, with a total duration of about 8 hours.
- Catalan independence trial