In the Supreme Court trial of Catalan pro-independence leaders, former Catalan Ministers for the Presidency and Foreign Affairs, Jordi Turull and Raül Romeva, yesterday firmly stated that while defending the independence of Catalonia they were always looking for dialogue with the Spanish government and shunned violence.
The defendants again had the support of Catalan (ERC and PDeCAT) and Basque MPs (EH Bildu and PNB), among the audience in the room. “Since a year ago today I have been in preventive prison for defending the call for a referendum, which has not been a crime since 2005,” Turull said, while Romeva referred to himself as a “political prisoner.” Both also complained to the court about not being able to declare in Catalan.
Turull gave a firm response to the question posed by prosecutor Jaime Moreno, whom he accused of “having made up a delirious story” about what happened in Catalonia between September and October 2017. “Violence is not part of any party in Catalonia. People in Catalonia are peaceful, whether pro-independence or otherwise. We are the country of Pau Casals,” Turull said. Responding to a question by the prosecutor about whether he feared “an increase in violence” after the searches of official departments and demonstrations on September 20, 2017, Romeva told the court, “Never, we have never appealed to violence; neither did we call for an uprising, and the only weapons were those of the Civil Guard.”
Regarding political action, Turull explained that the Spanish government was asked to address the Catalans’ right to decide on 18 occasions, adding that “the prosecutor’s office did not prohibit” the clearly pro-independence path adopted by JxSí.