As we have got closer to the end of the trial of Mossos d'Esquadra police chief Josep Lluís Trapero, for whom prosecutors initially requested an 11-year prison sentence for rebellion, the case has withered away and the sentence demanded has begun to appear reckless since nothing - literally nothing - has been proved. The prosecutor has already made an initial request to change the charge from rebellion to sedition but the case presented has fallen so short that in his final summing-up he opened the door for Trapero and the three others to be convicted for disobedience, a completely unjust punishment, but rather minor if we look at the initial level of the trial. The trial of Trapero, along with former Catalan interior ministry secretary Cesar Puig, former Mossos director Pere Soler and police superintendent Teresa Laplana has only served to show that the serious accusations maintained against the Catalan interior ministry and the Mossos for so long were nothing more than wrapping on an empty package, which only aimed to discredit the police chief's exemplary career and cast a shadow over all those responsible for public security in Catalonia.
On Tuesday, Olga Tubau, Trapero's lawyer, dismantled all the accusations against her client and made it clear that the chief complied with all the instructions of the court order. So how was it possible that the prosecution initially made such harsh accusations? The independence leaders' trial, and by extension all the court procedures related to the events at the Catalan economy ministry on September 20th, 2017, the independence referendum of October 1st and the declaration of independence made by the Parliament of Catalonia, all form part of the same well-defined whole: the general case against the Catalan independence movement.
Nothing was what it was claimed to be: first, it was said to be a coup, which the Supreme Court had already rejected, as there was no evidence for that anywhere; then an act of rebellion, a description which the establishment media uncritically accepted and which the Supreme Court itself took responsibility for correcting; and from there it was re-labelled as sedition, which was the last legal bulwark of the Supreme Court for convicting the members of the Catalan government, the pro-independence civil group leaders and former parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell. That verdict will have its day in court in Europe and one day its own appeal ruling, although Spain's Supreme Court and Constitutional Court have taken protective pincer action and, consequently, on Tuesday, the latter of the two also refused to suspend the sentence of the pro-independence leaders while it studies the appeals against the sentences given in the Supreme Court.
For the trial of Trapero to have coincided with the Spanish interior minister's sudden dismissal of Civil Guard colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, head of the corps's Madrid command, officially for loss of confidence but, according to all sources, for disobedience, is something that must be taken into account. De los Cobos was more than just a key witness in the case against Trapero, with whom he sought confrontation from the outset, after being appointed coordinator of the security forces charged with clamping down on the 1st October referendum. His accusations, mostly unfounded, were unable to be rejected, as he was consecrated in the political, media and judicial circles of Madrid. De los Cobos was rewarded for his work in Catalonia and everything went his way until someone in the capital began to see that there was a serious problem. But the harm had been done and he had already put paid to the career of a valuable and rounded professional.