Spanish judge wants Puigdemont investigated for terrorism

Spanish judge wants Puigdemont investigated for terrorism |

Spanish judge Manuel García Castellón on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to investigate former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, leader of the separatist party Together for Catalonia (JxCat), in connection to the Barcelona airport blockade in 2017.

The judge has also asked to investigate the leader of the Catalan pro-independence formation Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), Marta Rovira, and ten other separatist politicians for alleged terrorism offences during the 2017 secessionist attempt.

The judge argues that Puigdemont and Rovira allegedly had responsibility for the actions that took place on 14 October 2019 at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, when hundreds of separatist demonstrators blocked air traffic.

The protesters, called by Democratic Tsunami, caused more than 1,000 flights to be cancelled in protest at a Supreme Court’s ruling that year, which sentenced 12 pro-independence leaders to prison terms of up to 13 years, including current ERC president Oriol Junqueras, with whom Sánchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE/S&D) has also negotiated the amnesty law.

Puigdemont considered on Tuesday the decision by García Castellón to be dictated by “a political agenda” and by the Spanish justice system that “sees [Catalan] rebels where there are none”.

“We have been like this for six years. They [judges] are very predictable. They see rebels where there are none, they see traitors where there are none and they see terrorists where there are none. This is the situation of justice in Spain, which is one of the worst in the European Union”, said the leader of JxCat, EFE reported.

The judge’s decision comes at a particularly delicate moment for Sánchez, who has managed to return to power thanks to the support of Catalan separatists in exchange for the approval of an amnesty law for those involved in the 2017 events.

From the material analysed by the judge, it is clear that Puigdemont held a position of responsibility in Tsunami Democràtic, and his role as former Catalan president and leader of JxCat in exile gives him “a position of unquestionable authority”, says the magistrate in a communication to the Supreme Court.

‘Evidence’ of Puigdemont’s responsibility

García Castellón explains that the seriousness of the facts and their complexity makes it possible to classify them as various types of offences that would fit in with “terrorism” actions in the sense envisaged by European Union law.

The judge noted his communication to the Supreme Court that the blockade of Barcelona airport was an unlawful action since there is no evidence that there had been a legal call to hold a demonstration or meeting. He also recalls that it is not possible to authorise demonstrations at a critical facility such as an airport.

This protest action, according to the magistrate, is covered by the Spanish Criminal Code because of the material damage that was caused, the people who were injured, the danger to the people present at the airport during these tense moments, and the serious blockage of air traffic.

In his account of the events, García Castellón recalls that the separatist demonstrators entered the boarding area, managed to sit in front of the doors to access the planes, preventing passengers from entering, and managed to block the airport control tower.

With their action, he added, they endangered the safety of the airport and national and international air traffic, Catalan radio RAC-1 reported.

“It [Democratic Tsunami] is a structured organisation, whose actions could fit the definition of terrorist offences, insofar as it is a structure set up with the aim of committing terrorist acts, such as the one that took place” at Barcelona airport, he points out.

The magistrate said there is evidence that allows the inference of Puigdemont’s participation in the birth and planning of the violent actions of the Democratic Tsunami.

(Fernando Heller |

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