Van den Eynde: "This is an opportunity to return the resolution of the conflict to politics"In his definitive conclusions, the attorney of Junqueras and Romeva said the parties to the prosecution lack evidence and are based on the so-called "Criminal law of the enemy"
Josep Maria Camps
One of the most relevant moments in the Catalan independence trial came on Tuesday: the statement of the definitive conclusions of the defence counsels.
The first to state them was Andreu Van den Eynde, the defence counsel of Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva, who stated that the parties to the prosecution based their case entirely on raucousness, exaggerations and "some lies". In sum, he said it was "background noise" to hid that there was no evidence.
"We must pass the ball back to politics"
At the end of his statement, Van den Eynde directly addressed the Court to ask it to see the sentence as an "opportunity" to contribute to "resolve the political conflict":
"This trial is an opportunity, which I believe is a very beautiful one, partly because it is a formula to reach the moment to overcome a crisis. That is so! I invite you to look at it thus."
"We have an opportunity, because politics will not disappear. People, faced with the deadlock in negotiations, will not stop protesting: that is the way it is. And we must toss the ball back to politics. That is an interesting thing the sentence could do."
"What I am telling you is that we are here, reaching out to resolve this conflict. And that is what I believe this sentence should be."
"I hope I have helped you with some arguments to issue the best possible sentence but, especially, a sentence that solves conflicts: because I believe that it is the noblest and most honest value of the Justice administration."
"The Criminal Code of political dissidence"
Van den Eynde started his statement by asserting that this trial is very important because it will set criminal precedents that will be applied to political dissidence in the future, and he said that the Court shoulders a heavy responsibility:
"Let us not fool ourselves; this Case will generate a Criminal Code applicable to political dissidence. This is not a pejorative term, this is reality. Here the answer will be given to how political action is exerted in a project such as that of my clients, and it will be explained which criminal response is to be given to a proposition in a Parliament made by immune members of Parliament."
In this regard, he stated that the Government Attorney's Office should have defended the fundamental rights of the accused, but chose to support "criminal repression".
The attorney began his arguments by stating that the parties to the prosecution were based on a "general case" against the pro-independence movement that was begun by the prosecutor's office of the National Court in 2015 on its own initiative.
The "Criminal law of the enemy"
According to his statement, from that point onward there was an "arranged action" by the State Attorney General and the Guardia Civil, that carried out an investigation based on what he called the "criminal law of the enemy", namely, without respecting the fundamental rights of the accused, as if they had none.
The attorney pointed out Guardia Civil lieutenant-colonel Daniel Baena, in charge of the investigation of the pro-independence movement, as the first author of the thesis of the State Attorney General:
"Baena's report from 2016 begins with the exact same sentence as the writ of accusation of the State Attorney General in this case. One year and a half earlier. The same sentence."
Van den Eynde added that Baena argued his theses going back to 2012 and based on press articles.
"Disobedience is being confused with rebellion"
In his speech, the attorney denied the possibility that there had been any kind of rebellion, and he stated that the parties to the prosecution have confused disobedience with rebellion.
According to his arguments, the most the parties to the prosecution could reach, with the facts and evidence at hand, is a charge of contempt:
"Disobedience is being confused with rebellion: that is the way it is."
"What I mean is that this is the big mix-up. Here, ignoring the law, classic disobedience - which we could argue about - is being confused with rebellion."
The attorney based his argument on the so-called "competence of the State", which suspended the referendum, annulled it legally and also suspended Catalan home rule with article 155.
90% of evidence is from Court number 13
With regard to the evidence provided by the parties to the prosecution, Van den Eynde stated that the vast majority is from the investigation of Court number 14 of Barcelona, which the parties to the defence deem to be illegal.
The attorney stated there was no "processing" when obtaining this evidence, and that this goes beyond "breaching all technical and international standards."
Moreover, he stated that, during the trial, the police investigators admitted that they did not know what they were investigating:
"90% of the evidence we have seen in this trial, 90% of information, was generated during these proceedings. This includes the first phone tap, an exceptional means of investigation that nobody remembered had been imposed to whom. I have never seen the police come and say it does not remember whose phone they tapped or why in a trial of this nature."
"This is the most important case in Spanish history and here comes the investigator and says he does not know why they tapped a citizen's phone. Everything we have seen here: documents, pro-forma invoices, conversations, emails, tweets... comes from this illegal case: this is how it is."
"This is not just fundamental rights, it is credibility"
Apart from complaining that the evidence came from court number 13 of Barcelona, the attorney stated that this evidence was provided without legal guarantees to validate it:
"There is no expert evidence, we do not know how they accessed the computers or the location, integrity, processing or management. There are no guarantees as to regularity. This is not just a question of fundamental rights, it is a question of credibility. How can it be that in this trial, with 450 witnesses, not a single police officer -and that is the task of the prosecutor - in charge of the sources of evidence came so we could ask him "Where did you obtain this email?" How can this be? Email messages, tweets, documents... Where are they from?"
He also complained that the parties to the defence did not have access to much of the evidence. In this regard, Van den Eynde accused the State Attorney General of not having provided the medical reports of the officers allegedly injured on 1-O because they did not prove their point.
The attorney went further and suggested that the parties to the prosecution have wanted to impose "a new standard of evidence" without guarantees:
"I cannot believe the prosecution did not ask for the medical reports by mistake. I cannot believe it. It must be that the medical reports did not benefit the conclusions of the prosecution so much either."
"The prosecution wants to impose a new standard of evidence, in which it is only interested by proving the charges being brought beyond any standards or protocols, acquired, analysed and debated without input from the parties to the defence."
Saying "Enfocats" 1,000 times
One of these pieces of evidence is one of those the State Attorney General deems to be the most important to prove the charge of rebellion: the Enfocats document, whose author remains unknown. According to Van den Eynde, it is nothing but "smoke and mirrors":
"That is a pamphlet that would make me laugh if not for the fact that the subject is so grave. It is a compendium of tropes, fantasies and marketing. Nobody has heard of it, nobody knows who wrote it, it does not appear in any email messages, nobody mentions it in a single conversation."
"It is seized in a search that is not signed by its author, the Franqueses search, in which the Guardia Civil lies, because it says so after the court clerk. A document without stamped pages, in which the registration does not appear on the pages and which, moreover, does not correspond to reality."
"That is "Enfocats", it is nothing, it is a pretext raised as evidence for criminal charges for a reason, because they have repeated it a thousand times. The strength of "Enfocats" is having said the name "Enfocats" a thousand times. It is nothing else, it is smoke and mirrors."
The symbolism of the patrol cars on 20-S
With regard to 20-S, Van den Eynde has said that the Prosecution has used "the symbolism" of the destroyed Guardia Civil patrol cars in the trial to make the case for violence that did not exist:
"The problem is not the symbolism of the cars. But symbolism is symbolism, not facts. 40,000 demonstrators, 0 people injured, 0 attempts at assault, 0 weapons stolen from the cars."
Quite the contrary, according to the attorney, it was a festive and activist day, and he pointed out that Enric Millo himself validated it publicly on the following day:
"The government delegate, mister Millo, appeared on television on the 21st and used the expression "olé" to acknowledge the defence of freedom of expression that had been performed on 20S, saying that responsibility for sporadic acts of disorder would befall to whoever committed them."
And to complete his argument and defend Romeva and Junqueras, he pointed out that, on that day, the former was in Madrid, and that the latter only went to his office in the Economy building and talked to people when he left.
Baena's "split personality"
The attorney said that Daniel Baena is one of the top experts in Spain on cybernetic crime, but he was not the best person to carry out this investigation.
In fact, he assumed that Baena was the "Tácito" account on Twitter that carried out activism against the pro-independence movement:
"So what did Baena do? He took care of that, with his split personality because, beyond evidence, Baena is "Tácito" on Twitter, a politically involved personality. And he is, beyond evidence, because everybody knows it, because he exchanged tweets with journalists, and it is not necessary to bring the journalists here, but everybody knows that Tácito is Baena."
"Everything is exaggeration and noise"
According to Van den Eynde, the State Attorney General had to hide the fact that it lacked valid evidence by exaggerating its narrative by using big words that do not fit what truly happened.
"It is all exaggeration and noise, and this noise is shared and manifests itself in vocabulary. I have written it down throughout the trial: "they were entrenched", with "human shields", "shot", "they had an arsenal", "hateful looks", "siege", "devastation"... Either they do not know what devastation is or they are perfectly aware of it. It is: "To completely ruin or destroy a territory, leaving nothing standing." That is to devastate. We have two damaged cars, and they speak of the apocalypse."
The attorney also stated that all this "bias" and exaggeration deprives the narrative of the parties to the prosecution of all credibility.
- Catalan independence trial