The former secretary of the Catalan Government says that October 1 was fostered as an attempt to "pressure" towards negotiationsFormer Minister Jordi Jané states before the Supreme Court that the Catalan Government always worked aiming to reach "an agreed solution"
Josep Maria Camps
The former secretary of the Catalan Government, Joan Vidal
The Catalan independence trial, now into its eleventh week, resumed this Tuesday with the declarations of Joan Vidal, who was secretary of the Catalan Government up until July 14, 2017.
To questions by Juan Cremades, lawyer of Vox the prosecution party, which requested the witness, Vidal assured that he resigned due to personal reasons, and not because of the will of organizing a referendum.
He also assured that, up until then, no one within the government adressed the subject of the unilateral organization of the referendum:
Cremades: "Did you take part in any preparatory meetings for the 1-O referendum?"
Vidal: "I took part in meetings in which we talked about the desire to hold a referendum in agreement with the government of the State."
Cremades: "Did you not talk about unilateralism up until then?"
Vidal: "That was not even considered. The will until I resigned was trying to reach an agreement upon a referendum."
October 1, "an element to put pressure towards a negotiation"
Government attorney Rosa María Seoane asked him for the presentation of both the question and the date of the referendum, which took place in early June, when he was still secretary of the Government.
According to Vidal, that happened in an attempt "to put pressure" towards a negotiation:
Seoane: "Did you also consider the setting of a date a means to reach an agreement with the State?"
Vidal: "That was considered as an element to put pressure on negotiations."
He didn't look at Jové's agenda
Previously, the lawyer of Vox had asked him over the Enfocats document and the diary belonging to Josep Maria Jové, both texts over which the accusations base their argument.
Vidal's response was that he had a very close relationship with Jové at the government, although he never saw these documents:
Cremades: "Were you aware of the contents of the Enfocats document?"
Vidal: "I haven't seen it in my life."
Cremades: "Did you know the contents of Jové's diary?"
Vidal: "No. I had a very close relationship with Jové because we both had the responsibility to coordinate the Government action, although the parliamentary list that supported it was only one. The Government was a coalition and Mr. Jové and I held a responsibility for each of the two parties to coordinate the Government's action. We certainly had a close relationship, but I didn't look at his notebook."
The prosecutor tried to ask questions related to this notebook, but Marchena cut him down, stating that the witness had already responded.
The lawyer of Vox Juan Cremades, this Tuesday at the Supreme Court
Jané: "We always stood for the option of an agreement"
Former Interior Minister, Jordi Jané, also testified this Tuesday. He resigned on July 14, 2017, the same day Vidal did, and was replaced by Joaquim Forn.
Interrogated by Juan Cremades, lawyer of Vox, Jané assured that a unilateral referendum was never considered while he was part of the government:
"The road towards and agreement and towards dialogue was always defended within the Government of which I was a member. We aimed to find a solution that was agreed upon. This was the goal set by the Government: to seek an agreed solution through dialogue."
The witness said he did not resign, but rather he was dismissed at his own request, and to questions of Vox, he denied the reason being a "change of criteria" in the Government.
Jané assured that his motivations for leaving were related to the fact that he had been able to achieve most of the goals set by himself as a Minister by then, such as the holding of the Security Board.
"The future scenario"
In any case, he admitted that he also left for a "future assumption" referring to the referendum:
"The reasons were related to this fulfillment of objectives and to the future scenario of a situation of non-agreement occurring. If this situation finally was to take place, having already fulfilled the goals I had set at the beginning of the mandate, I preferred not to continue."
He also related his departure with that of Jordi Baiget at the Ministry of Enterprise and Knowledge, 10 days before him.
"Presentations with no legal value"
Rosa María Seoane, Spanish Government Attorney, asked him about the presentation of the 1-O referendum in early June, when he was still a Minister.
Seoane also reminded him of the events held at the beginning of July, in which the draft of the future law of the referendum was presented.
Jané justified them by saying he considered "they had no legal value":
"I believe that sometimes presentations without legal value, without any official publication, are made in the framework of a search for future agreements. You can present or consider one way on the one hand, and another way on the other hand, in an attempt to try to find an agreed outcome."
"Therefore, I understood that as not having any legal value. It was just a means to try, in some way, to look for some type of solution, to cause some type of solution."
The testimony repeated several times that he was convinced that the referendum would not be made unilaterally, but would be "an agreed solution".
He also assured that everyone in his Department was sure that the Catalan Police would comply with the law and would enforce it, and that no one in the Government ever questioned it.
To questions by Xavier Melero, defence counsel of Joaquim Forn, Jané said that he did not make changes in the Council or within the Mossos Corps, except to replace those officers who had resigned.
- Catalan independence trial