A TOTAL of 45 Spanish National Police officers were able to see inside a courtroom for their alleged excessive use of force during the illegal independence referendum held in Catalonia on October 1, 2017.
It has taken a judge five years to investigate the events of that day, which were the culmination of the region’s efforts to secede from Spain and led to a unilateral declaration of independence approved by the Catalan parliament.
Images of police violence during the vote were seen around the world and sparked widespread international condemnation of Spain.
In his conclusions, the judge reports having found “unnecessary” and “gratuitous” episodes of violence against members of the public who came to participate in the vote. Some of these actions, he added, were also authorized or condoned by police chiefs on the ground.
The Public Ministry now has a month to decide whether to file the case or formally accuse some or all of the police officers in question, Spanish newspaper The country reports.
The judge dismissed the charges against 20 other officers, who he found to have behaved within the norms. But the other 45 could face assault charges as well as crimes against the personal integrity of the victims.
The investigation was based on videos recorded by citizens during police charges, which in some cases came without prior notice.
At the Prosperitat public school, for example, officers charged the public without giving due warning of the use of force.
The judge noted that here, as in other polling stations, there were “elderly people” in the crowd who did not show “any aggressive attitude” towards the officials.