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The appearance of commissioner Ferran López, right-hand man of major Josep Lluís Trapero and the person designated by the Spanish state to head the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police) during the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to Catalonia, was one of the most hotly-anticipated in the Supreme Court and it didn't disappoint. The independence trial has taken down many lies and many half-truths. From charges of nonexistent rebellion in which the altercations that took place during those weeks have been exaggerated to the extreme to justify the outrage of the interminable pretrial detention of the members of the Catalan government, the speaker of the Catalan Parliament and the leaders of Òmnium and the ANC, to a supposed misuse of public funds which they haven't proven, regardless of how persistent the public prosecutors and the state's lawyers have been in the hearings during the eight weeks of the trial so far.

With Ferran López testifying in the Supreme Court, some of the statements made by colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos have fallen apart, like when he said he was unaware of the Mossos' operational plans on 1st October (the famous pairs of officers); or that related to the coordination or lack thereof from the Catalan police with the Civil Guard and the Spanish National Police Corps, and, finally, the permanent communication between the security forces which was brusquely interrupted on the day of the referendum. Pérez de los Cobos' testimony had been key as the coordinator sent by the state to Catalonia to bring together the three security forces. Commissioner López, in a measured and collected appearance, took apart what the Civil Guard colonel had said. He was informed about everything, if there was no greater coordination it was the fault of De los Cobos and the communication on 1st October was nonexistent since they didn't return calls or give any instructions from early that morning.

Defence lawyer Xavier Melero did very well in asking the court for a careo between De los Cobos and López1, even though he knew that Marchena wouldn't grant one. Presiding judge Marchena has an unalterable timetable and a view of the trial which ends up helping some and harming others. The careo, like the showing of videos to dispel the lies which are made on a daily basis in the chamber, are among the things not permitted with the senseless argument that "that will all be done later". What happens is that in the world of immediate online communication, postponing a careo to the end of the trial is to give an enormous media advantage to whoever doesn't want to do it. It's now that the topic is still hot that the truth should be established and that can only happen with a careo between both parties.

Asking for one is not only a legitimate defence right but is essential to clarify the truth. Because that's what it's about, right?

 

Translator's notes: 1. A careo (confrontation, face-off) is a mechanism in Spanish law to directly compare testimony from two witnesses.

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