Catalan police chief in Madrid court in ‘sedition’ probe

October 6, 2017

BARCELONA: The Catalan chief of police, Josep Lluis Trapero, is appearing before a judge in Madrid on suspicion of sedition against the state.
His Mossos d’Esquadra force is accused of failing to protect Spanish national police from protesters ahead of the 1 October independence referendum.
The Catalan vote last Sunday was declared illegal under Spanish law.
The Catalan parliament plans to meet on Monday despite a Spanish Constitutional Court order suspending the session.
“Parliament will discuss, parliament will meet,” said Catalan foreign affairs chief Raül Romeva. “Every attempt the Spanish government has used to impede things to happen, they have been demonstrated completely not only useless but counter-productive,” he told the BBC in English.
There is speculation that the session will be used to declare independence, based on Sunday’s disputed vote.
The “sedition” hearing is taking place at the national criminal court in Madrid. The defendants are accused of failing to help Guardia Civil police tackle thousands of pro-independence protesters outside the Catalan Economy Department in Barcelona on 20 September. Along with commander Trapero, another Catalan police officer and two leading independence activists are also being questioned in Madrid.
Leading newspaper El Pais says the accusation against the Mossos is extraordinary in post-Franco democratic Spain.
The crime of sedition has been in every Spanish penal code since 1822 and carries a potential prison term of up to 15 years. It amounts to rebellion against state decisions or national security forces.
As recently as August the Mossos was being widely praised for quickly tackling the Islamist cell that carried out the Barcelona terror attack in that month. Agencies