More police under suspicion. The pro-independence groups Òmnium Cultural and the ANC and the human rights group Irídia have asked for 37 new charges to be laid against officers of the Spanish National Police in the macro-case being conducted over the violent police actions at polling stations in Barcelona during the Catalan independence referendum on 1st October 2017, which is being investigated by Barcelona's Investigating Court number 7. The private prosecution being conducted by the three groups announced today that they have presented a new expert report to the judge, which identifies a total of 468 disproportionate police actions in 16 schools around Barcelona that were used as polling stations during the self-determination referendum. Of the 37 new charges of Spanish police officers recommended in the report, 24 would be new charges and 13 would be extensions, that is, officers who are already being investigated for other actions. Thus, the total number of officers facing accusations would rise to 90. The investigation into the police actions was about to close, and if these new charges are admitted, the date of the trial will be delayed further.
In the statement submitted to the court, the three organizations state that the videos analyzed showed "punches, strong pushing, obstruction of airways, strangulation and kicking", among other actions. They states that after viewing these images and recordings, and the result of months of work, the three prosecuting groups consider it essential to charge 37 more National Police officers, of whom 24 would be new charges and 13 would be additional charges against police officers already investigated. Four of them are police group leaders. Òmnium, Irídia and the ANC once again denounce that "they are fulfilling the role that the public prosecution service should be playing in defending the fundamental rights violated by the citizens."
The three groups specify that all the disproportionate and illicit police actions analyzed in this new expert report took place on October 1st, 2017 at 16 polling stations in the city of Barcelona. They are: Escola Mediterrània, IES Pau Claris, Escola Pia Sant Antoni, IES Ramon Llull, IES Joan Fuster, Center Educatiu Projecte, Escola Infant Jesús, Dolors Monserdà, IES Santa Caterina de Siena, Àgora, Mare Nostrum, Escola Prosperitat, Escola Víctor Català , IES Joan Boscà, CAP Guinardó and CEIP Els Horts.
At the same time, the three prosecutions also demand a new six-month extension of this stage of the case to carry out pending investigations and resolve those that may arise from the new charges against National Police officers. The previous extension of the investigation set the end of this stage of the legal process at January 29th, 2022.
The co-director of the Irídia human rights organization, Anaïs Franquesa, stated that with the audiovisual expert evidence presented, “Òmnium, Irídia and the ANC have made a titanic effort to delimit the criminal conduct of police officers, and more than 400 cases of criminal conduct have been found.” Franquesa added that "the investigation has been driven by the prosecutions" and denounced "the attitude, and even further, the obstruction by the public prosecutor and the police force itself". She concluded: "We are on the final stretch and hope to go to trial soon."
Judge Francesc Miralles had to decide whether to split the case into two trials. One with Roger Español, a victim who lost an eye due to the impact of a rubber projectile fired from a Spanish police shotgun, and who is himself accused by police officers, and the second trial of all Spanish police officers, for violating citizens' rights.