Badalona councillor on trial

Prosecutor’s office asks for 6-month prison sentence for taking confiscated pro-referendum posters

Trial condemned as being “against freedom of speech”

This Thursday the first trial about the referendum on self-determination in Catalonia (held on October 1 2017) is to take place. José Téllez, a councillor for the political platform Guanyem Badalona en Comú, will be tried for the crime of serious disobedience to authority for having taken some pro-referendum posters from inside a police car. The posters had been confiscated by an Urban Guard patrol (on the orders of the Catalan police force). The public prosecutor’s office is asking for a six-month prison sentence and for Téllez to be disqualified from holding public office. Téllez and the CUP (a left-wing pro-independence party) claim that the celebration of this trial goes “against freedom of speech”.

Téllez will have to face a second trial at the end of May, alongside five other people from Badalona’s previous government. He is accused of the crime of serious disobedience for opening a municipal facility on October 12 2016, as a symbolic repudiation of Hispanic Day (a Spanish national holiday commemorating the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ first arrival in the Americas). In this case, the public prosecutor’s office is asking for 15-months’ disqualification from public office.

As these lawsuits against the promoters of the Catalan referendum are taking place, investigations into police agents who went too far at the voting centers during the referendum have been re-opened. For example, a special inquiry judge in Manresa has summoned (for January 23) the three Civil Guard police officers accused of making an illegal arrest for having hand-cuffed a boy in Fonollosa without telling him his rights.

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