National Court asks the Supreme Court of Spain to try Puigdemont for terrorism
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In his reasoned exposition, the magistrate points out that to clarify the facts it is necessary to carry out investigative procedures that cannot be carried out because Puigdemont and the deputy of the Parliament of Catalonia Ruben Wagensberg are absent. The magistrate's letter to the Supreme Court indicates that Carles Puigdemont would be at the highest point of the Tsunami Democratic organization - investigated for terrorism during the events that occurred after the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia in 2017 - and adds that his position as former president and leader from Brussels of the independence movement gives it “a position of unquestionable authority.”
According to the judge, there are indications that allow to infer his participation in the birth and planning of Tsunami Democratic's actions. Among these indications, he explains, are the messages via mobile phone between the investigated Josep Lluís Alay and Jesus Rodriguez, the notes from the former's agenda or Puigdemont's promotion through Twitter of the launch of the Tsunami platform.
Puigdemont's leadership role in Tsunami is also inferred, the instructor continues, from a conversation held with the investigated Campmajo in which they discuss the attitude that the Catalan political leaders are having in relation to the proces sentence. Throughout the writing, the head of the Central Court of Instruction number 6 reviews the actions attributed to Tsunami Democratic in response to the Supreme Court ruling in the process trial, such as the general strike of October 18, 2019, the attempt to affect the November general elections or the blockade of critical State or European Infrastructures such as the actions carried out at the Barcelona-El Prat airport and the ENAIRE control tower in Barcelona-Gavà.
In relation to the latter, the magistrate highlights the “strategic importance of this objective, and the serious consequences that the success of the intended action could have had for the safety of national and international air traffic. If Tsunami Democratic had achieved its objective of preventing the shift change of the facility's air traffic controllers, this would not only have caused economic damage, but could have had a catastrophic result with unforeseeable consequences for the people who were at that time flight on board aircraft in the area under control, with the obvious risk and danger to their lives.”
It is necessary to investigateFor the judge, the impact it had on the lives and integrity of people cannot be minimized, and he must emphasize that within the framework of this action the death of a person occurred, as reported by the media at that time. Therefore, it is considered necessary to find out if the collapse of the airport could have played a role in the fatal outcome in some way. “In other words, it would try to rule out that the death (…) could have been avoided on 10/14/2019.” The riots, it continues, lasted until the early hours of the morning on the 15th, resulting in multiple injuries, including both agents of the Security Forces and Corps and civilians.
For this reason, the magistrate considers that the investigation must clarify who were injured, with the corresponding offer of actions, and decide whether the harmful results are equally attributable to those responsible for the organization being investigated.
It will be especially relevant to clarify, it continues, whether among the injured there were airport users (travellers, flight crew, companions or relatives of travelers or airport staff), in order to specify the risk to the physical integrity of the people who were injured. They were at the airport, which was the action organized by Tsunami. “Not only were damages caused to people, but also significant economic damages were caused that the investigation must specify if they are objectively attributable to those responsible for the organization,” the judge warns.
The facts fit into terrorism crimesIn his reasoned presentation, the judge explains that at this procedural moment the classification cannot be considered in exclusive terms, but rather the seriousness of the facts and their complexity allow them to be subsumed into various infractions that would fit into acts of terrorism in the sense provided by the Law of the European Union.
The magistrate analyzes the violent acts that occurred on October 14, 2019, at the Prat Airport and points out that it was an illegal action, in the broadest sense of the word since there is no evidence that there was any legal call to carry out an demonstration or meeting. Remember that it is not possible to authorize demonstrations and concentrations in a critical facility such as Barcelona Airport. This action, according to the magistrate, fits into the Penal Code due to material damage, injured people, the physical integrity of those present at the airport facility and the impact on air traffic.
The judge adds that the reports sent by the Mossos de Escuadra – Regional Police of Catalonia – have revealed the use of devices, substances and weapons in the action of blocking the airport by the protesters. “This is how we talk about the use of large stones that came from removing the marble and granite from the ground and had sharp edges; 2-meter-long iron from the building's fencing; glass from the breaking of the building structures; high-power pyrotechnics, empty fire extinguishers, luggage carts, wood, glass, fences, pallets, metal parts, etc. There is also talk of a kind of projectile with which metal pieces were launched, a kind of slingshot with which an agent would have been injured.”
In his account of the events, the magistrate recalls that the assailants accessed the boarding area, managed to settle in front of the boarding doors to access the planes, preventing passengers from accessing them, and managed to block the tower air control of El Prat and that with their action they endangered the security of the airport and national and international air traffic" if the Mossos de Escuadra had not cleared the road that prevented the relief of the air traffic controllers from the control tower of El Prat. “ENAIRE.” This danger, according to García Castellón, could materialize in the death of a citizen of French nationality.
García Castellón analyzes the acts committed in light of the international conventions for the repression of illicit acts against civil aviation security, and concludes that "given that several of those investigated in this procedure are outside of Spain, specifically in Switzerland and Belgium, countries that have signed the aforementioned Conventions. In the event that the prosecution of these events cannot take place in Spain, the possibility of prosecuting the serious events that occurred on 10/14/2019 at the El Prat airport in any of said countries, if the appropriate judicial cooperation mechanisms are used by the Second Chamber.”