The Government Attorney's Office has defended, during the final conclusions of the Catalan independence trial, that "all conditions" established for the crime of sedition were met on October 1. Rosa María Seoane, who represents the Government Attorney's Office, defined 1 October as "a reactive moment with a generalised, massive and public nature" and added that "the uprising and opposition that took place with over two million people is obvious."
With regard to the accused, she stated that they were coordinated to prevent the actions of the State against the referendum:
"It is beyond all doubt that the accused, each in his or her role, were the joint perpetrators of this offence due to the fact that they acted with premeditation, organisation and prior preparation in this configuration of what would be the public and riotous uprising that took place on 1 October with the clear and manifest aim of preventing and neutralising the action ordered by the State to prevent the referendum from being held."
There was no "violence as a structural element"
Seoane drew a distinction between planned violence, required for the charge of rebellion maintained by the State Attorney General, and the use of force, which is one of the conditions for the crime of sedition:
"With regard to these crimes, we cannot hold violence and the use of force as equivalent. The crime of sedition mentions the use of force. We cannot understand that the reference to violence in the crime of rebellion could refer to the mere use of force."
The Government Attorney roundly stated that the accused did not act with the violence required for the crime of rebellion:
"The use of violence was not one of the structural elements of the plan carried out by the accused as a means to achieve their goals."
Seoane pointed out that the question of violence was entered in the parliamentary debate on the crime of rebellion "precisely to prevent that behaviours pursuing the same aims but that were non-violent should be punished with the crime of rebellion. "
The representative of the Government Attorney's Office deemed that both the eyewitness accounts and the videos of the trial proved that, on October 1, "use was made of force" as well as the fact there was an attempt to prevent civil servants from doing their duty "outside legal channels."
The statement of Seoane, who began her presentation with a nervous tone of voice, lasted for a little over an hour and a half.
The evidence for sedition
Rosa María Seoane listed the evidence which, in the opinion of the Government Attorney's Office, prove that the accused in the Catalan independence trial committed sedition. She quoted the joint roadmap of the parties from 2015, the ANC roadmap from the same year, the Moleskine agenda found in the house of Josep Maria Jové and the Enfocats document.
According to Seoane, it was proven in the trial that these roadmaps became a political programme and were "the script followed by the government" of the Generalitat in its eleventh term, all of which took place with the support of pro-independence social entities. Specifically, with regard to the ANC, Seoane pointed out that the roadmap defended that society "should emerge as an element of pressure on the state and to propel this process forwards."
Three pillars: Parliament, the government and social mobilisation
Seoane highlighted that "the entire strategy revolved around the conjunction of three vectors: parliamentary activity, governmental activity and social mobilisation."
In the first sphere, she mentioned the role of Carme Forcadell as president of Parliament several times, and she mentioned, for instance, that a reform of the regulations of Parliament "intended to immediately process the law calling the referendum" was approved. In this regard, she pointed out that the second half of August was declared working in an "altogether extraordinary fashion" and that the draft bill was "kept in a drawer" at Forcadell's decision:
"The decision not to submit it to approval was made by the person who had the power to do so, namely Ms. Forcadell. Thus, she kept the draft bill until the time it would have to concur with a government council. Thus, on 6 September, the procedure to process it was launched. This was due to fears that it would be suspended by the Constitutional Court."
She also commented on the approval of the conclusions of the commission on the constitutional commission, or the fact that the report of the Council on Statutory Guarantees or the warnings from the chief attorney and secretary general of Parliament.
In the second pillar, government, she quoted Carles Puigdemont's "either a referendum, or a referendum" on the vote of no confidence of September 2016, as well as a number of handwritten notes from Jové's agenda.
According to Seoane, the government carried out "a veritable administrative deployment" to carry out the referendum, with actions such as the conference with Puigdemont, Junqueras and Romeva in Brussels, the "very intense call for framework agreements" or the fact that the vice-presidency took charge of the field of election proceedings.
With regard to social mobilisation, she pointed out that, on September 20, Jordi Sànchez "never gave orders for there not to be security issues" and that he and Jordi Cuixart climbed on top of the Guardia Civil car when it was not necessary to do so.
"They said it was necessary because the demonstrators could not hear them, but the videos prove that the sound system and the grandstand that had been erected allowed the entire demonstration to hear perfectly clearly and it was therefore unnecessary to perform that display on top of the patrol car."
The Government Attorney stated that all members of government were "joint perpetrators of the crime of sedition." Moreover, she pointed out that Forcadell played a "fundamental role" to give an "appearance of legality" to the referendum with a "parallel and entirely illegitimate regulatory framework", and that the experts called by the defence of Cuixart confirmed "the force or reinforced nature given to the demonstrators, to the people who rose up in a public and riotous fashion, by the fact that the referendum was backed up by the authorities."
The longest sentence requested by the Government Attorney's Office is 12 years for Oriol Junqueras on the charges of sedition and misuse of public funds. It is asking for 11 years and 6 months for Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva and Joaquin Forn on the same charges.
- Catalan independence trial