"That guy Toni" and the 1-O posters that were not billed, at the heart of the trialAn employee of the Artyplan printing company has stated that the posters were never paid for and that the person who placed the order on behalf of Òmnium, Enric Vidal, told them that it would be billed to the Catalan government, a point Vidal claimed to be unaware of
Graphic designer Enric Vidal during questioning in the Supreme Court
Contradictory versions have arisen from the two witness accounts in the Catalan independence trial regarding whether or not the Catalan regional government ordered the printing of posters for the referendum through Òmnium Cultural.
After the morning lightning session, the public hearing resumed on Tuesday afternoon with the statement of Enric Vidal, a web and graphic designer and political action coordinator for Esquerra Republicana in Badalona, who had been charged with adapting and printing propaganda for the referendum.
The beginning of questioning focused on "that guy Toni" who had already been mentioned during the Monday afternoon sitting as the person who contacted Unipost to have the envelopes containing the notifications on electoral boards for 1-O sent.
He appeared once again on Tuesday as the person who contacted Vidal to ask him to adapt the poster promoting the referendum bearing the image of train tracks with a bifurcation into different formats and to take them to three printing houses.
Prosecutor Jaime Moreno questioned Vidal
According to Vidal's explanation in his answer to prosecutor Jaime Moreno, he met with "that guy Toni" in early September 2017 at the Colón hotel, where he was given "a USB drive with the material required to carry out the work." He was also given the names of three printing houses where he would have to bring the work: Artyplan, Global Solution and Marc Martí.
The prosecutor was sceptical that Vidal would have contacted the printing houses without knowing more about this person called Toni:
"(Moreno) Do you have any more information about who he was?
(Moreno) Did he only identify himself as Toni? Did you not ask him for his surname or even who he was?
(Vidal) No, I did not, much like with many other clients on the first day I can meet with them. I usually get more information further down the line.
(Moreno) Not even a business card? Did he tell you who sent him?
Throughout the interrogation, Vidal admitted that, based on information in the media, he had deduced that this Toni fellow might have been Antoni Molons, the secretary in charge of dissemination in the Catalan regional government, although he was unable to confirm this point.
The witness stated that he was unaware that the order was placed by the Catalan regional government and would be used for the referendum:
"What I know is that this Toni fellow placed the order. You are telling me that it was for the Catalan regional government. I am not sure if the poster, the sign belong to the Catalan regional government. It does bear its logo."
He also stated that he was not under the impression that there was any rush to print the signs and that he was not paid for the work. He said so answering Government attorney Rosa María Seoane.
"(Seoane) Did you carry out the resizing work for these products?
(Vidal) Resizing the poster? Yes.
(Seoane) - And you did not bill it?
(Seoane) Nor did you ever bill it? Why?
(Vidal) Because, in view of the situation, I was not about to make any efforts for what I might end up collecting for this job, like many other self-employed workers would have done.
(Seoane) You would have had to bill it before knowing that?
(Seoane) Did you intend to bill it when you went to the Colón hotel?
(Vidal) I am self-employed; I work for money, so yes.
A witness account from Artyplan contradicts Enric Vidal
Artyplan employee Enric Marí, during questioning in the Supreme Court
The witness that followed, Artyplan sales agent Enric Marí, contradicted Vidal on some points. He explained that, on 7 September, Aitor Sampere, from the department of media relations of Òmnium Cultural, called him to request an urgent budget for posters for the referendum.
On the next day he received the call from Enric Vidal who, according to Mari's statement, told him the job would be billed to the Catalan regional government, although he did not specify to which department:
"(Consuelo Madrigal, prosecutor) Did he tell you that you were to send the bill to the Catalan regional government?
(Madrigal) To which department?
(Mari) He did not tell me.
(Madrigal) Would you have worked without knowing who you would have to send the bill to?
(Mari) Yes, due to the fact that he had been recommended by Òmnium, an established customer of Artyplan, we would have.
According to his account, Vidal also told him that they were in a hurry due to a hypothetical intervention by the Guardia Civil:
(Madrigal) Did he also tell you during the meeting on 8 September that his initial budget would not be available, that only a third of what had initially been discussed was to be carried out?
(Mari) Because they were in a hurry to have the material printed.
(Madrigal) Did he tell you that they thus intended to reduce exposure to an intervention from the Guardia Civil?
(Mari) Yes, he said so in passing.
The Artyplan sales agent assessed the budget for the order placed by Vidal at 17,250 Euros; he also stated that it was sent by email, and that the order was never billed because the material was never delivered. The witness explained that Vidal doubted as to how it was to be delivered and that, faced with this doubt, Artyplan decided to stop the delivery.
During the questioning of Enric Vidal, attorney Jordi Pina, the defence counsel of Jordi Sànchez, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull, complained several times that the State Attorney General was asking questions about documents that, to his knowledge, were not included in the proceedings.
- Catalan independence trial