Three weeks before the Supreme Court's verdict on the Catalan pro-independence leaders was announced, the Civil Guard conducted an operation against a group of people connected with the CDRs (Committees for the Defence of the Republic), which resulted in nine arrests, accusations of terrorism, rebellion, possession of explosives and allegations that they were "planning violent actions". It was a real bombshell from the Civil Guard which made it possible, as anyone could confirm by scanning the press, to link the independence movement and terrorism, one of the mantras most repeated by the Spanish media and unionist political parties.
What has happened since that September 23rd? Well, three months later and with two new decisions to grant bail by the National Audience court, the numbers have fallen from the original nine arrested, seven of whom were jailed, to only two remaining in prison. Of the five released, four have been required to deposit bail of 5,000 euros and the fifth, 10,000 euros. The least that can be said about the accusations against those already released is that they were completely exaggerated, since it doesn't seem believable that they are terrorists and yet have been released. Someone was up to something since there was no basis for what was done and the three months they have spent in prison are, to put it mildly, abusive, in view of the bail of 5,000 euros.
Back in September, there was a deep worry gnawing at people in political, police, judicial and journalistic circles about the reaction which the Supreme Court verdicts would provoke. It was in this artificially-generated atmosphere that the CDR activists were arrested and a wonderful all-purpose expression, so useful when evidence is so scarce, was put into service: "precursors to explosives" had been found. Afterwards they became "precursors to thermite", which, as the judge now says in one of the bail rulings, "are not explosives in themselves."
Obviously, we who only have information from defence lawyers, the families of those arrested, leaks from the police and judicial documents need to be prudent and cautious. But we must also deplore the fact that too often the impression made by the false narrative ends up imposing itself and only the version asserted by the strongest prevails, even though that leaves the truth damaged.