Zoido's witness statement in the Supreme Court in 10 sentencesThe former minister states it was "impossible" to stop the 1-O referendum due to the "human shields" and sets himself apart from the strategy of the police during the referendum
Former Minister of the Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido in the Supreme Court
Former minister Juan Ignacio Zoido set himself apart from the strategy followed by the police during the 1-O referendum. In his statement in the Catalan independence trial, acting as a witness, the former minister of the Interior felt that the police operation of the Catalan police and defended that the actions of the Policía Nacional and the Guardia Civil were "proportionate."
Apart from making use of the expression "I don't remember" several times, Zoido made reference to the "human shields" in the polling stations.
Criticism against the Catalan regional police
"Both the Policía Nacional and the Guardia Civil had to withdraw from some polling stations without intervening owing to the massive presence there. There weren't any Catalan police forces anywhere to relieve them in these cases, as no Catalan police intervention forces were seen on that day."
"What would have happened if, instead of 6,000 or 7,000 Catalan police officers, there had been the number that is usually established [during electoral proceedings], which is always 12,000, and they had been supported by 6,000 more officers from Spanish law enforcement? Even including the Guardia Civil. I sometimes wondered about that."
"It would seem that Mr Trapero was not very cooperative. Moreover, he did not like being coordinated by Mr Pérez de los Cobos, and he was somewhat reluctant."
Decisions on 1-O were made by the operations
"(Melero)- Who gave the order for this operation in this polling station, in the other, not to withdraw. That 30-man units should intervene. Who makes the decisions?
(Zoido)- The operations."
"Proportionate" actions on 1-O
"Wherever there was trouble, they had to make a reasonable and proportionate use of force, to the point that some of them suffered significant injuries. Moreover, on some occasions, they had to withdraw when they saw it was impossible to access the polling station."
"Human shields" in the polling stations
"[The interlocutory sentence of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia] was not fulfilled, because it was impossible in the face of all that had been organised and int he presence of veritable human shields that prevented access."
"There were many polling stations where we saw there was active and organised resistance and where resistance was opposed to prevent law enforcement from carrying out its obligations.
"It was the only place where they were used and it was to get out of there, when a fence was thrown at them. And it was precisely during the withdrawal that this weapon was used, in order to be able to get out of there."
"Military-grade weapons" requested by the Catalan police
"We felt that the number of weapons requested was unjustified, as was the type of weapons and the ammunition, which was ordered in a significant amount. The purchase of ammunition was authorised after a request."
"A por ellos" [Let's get them]
"I saw that in the media and I obviously disapproved of such expressions. It was also recommended that they should display the greatest amount of respect in the action entrusted to them."
- Catalan independence trial