Read in Catalan

A judge from Spain's Supreme Court, Pablo Llarena, has opened the way to Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, imprisoned leaders of pro-independence organisations, also being charged with rebellion in addition to sedition. The judge raises the possibility in his order today decreeing that the Jordis, along with vice-president Oriol Junqueras and minister Joaquim Forn, should remain in preventive detention without bail. Llarena adds that there are "several details of the investigation" which directly link contributions by the four to "the exercising of violence". He also believes that the risk of reoffending "is expressly united with the public responsibilities they aspire to".

In response to an argument from Cuixart's defence, he quotes the so-called Enfocats document as including a "strategic definition of the procedure to follow to achieve independence", within which framework he sets the demonstration on 20th September where "the infiltration of numerous violent or aggressive behaviours was confirmed, which reflected the violent seed which risked growing" and that, "from the moment in which some were pushed and captained" by Cuixart, "the evidence of responsibility which is denied is shown".

Llarena says that all those under investigation "recognise that they still maintain" their hopes for an independent Catalonia and notes that Enfocats includes the need to "persevere in their determination" if the process should result in some kind of intervention by the Spanish state, including a "plan of action for a forced disconnection and to guarantee the success of a potential unilateral path".

He records that the document foresees an "active" involvement of the public and that "the level of unrest will have to be increased depending on the state's response". He adds that it was planned to gradually encourage a "broad social mobilisation" and design a "strategy of social manipulation that facilities effectively leading different individuals based on their thinking".

"They considered persisting in the conflict until the [Spanish] state was left with no other alternative than authorising independence", argues the judge, adding that "the same pro-independence plans show that the risk of continuation of the crime exists and is appreciable in all those under investigation". This "danger" of continuing with the criminal activity, however, is "different in the different contributions made by each participant", for which reason he justifies some being kept in prison with others able to leave on bail, "although all of them express their wish to follow in the future the legal path".

"Explosion of violence"

The judge believes that all those under investigation have the same risk of reoffending, but believes that the same cannot be said of the "harm" that this could cause, thereby drawing a distinction between the various cases under his consideration. In the case of Junqueras, Forn, Sànchez and Cuixart, he argues that their contributions to the criminal activity "are directly linked to an explosion of violence" which "in case of being repeated leaves no margin for correction or for satisfaction of those affected by it". "And they are numerous the details of the investigation which link a contribution of these suspects directly linked with the exercise of violence".

In the 25-page order, the judge quotes Enfocats on several occasions, the document having been seized during the searches on 20th September. Indeed, he focuses more on the document than on the statements made by the ministers and the Jordis in court last Friday, more focused on their acceptance of article 155 and their support for dialogue.

Llarena reports that Enfocats includes Junqueras, Sànchez and Cuixart in a "strategic committee", adding that "their ability to decide on the suitability of and the moment in which it was suitable to deploy each of the behaviours of the [independence] process means leading the mobilisations which put at risk (or even made reality) the violent social explosion we saw, these suspects having even intervened in its material execution". In the case of Sànchez and Cuixart, for the demonstration on 20th September at the Economy ministry, and in the case of Junqueras, for attending these "violent events".

The Mossos "didn't deploy any action"

Llarena says that these "violent events" were fostered "because the forces charged with public order", referring to the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police), "favoured [them] and didn't deploy any action" to bring them to an end. He notes that, at that time, the Catalan police were under the control of Joaquim Forn as Interior minister.

The judge enumerates other mobilisations which saw this "position of dominance", like a search of offices belonging to the Unipost delivery firm, "road blocks", "human walls actively defending polling stations making police forces retreat on occasions, throwing stones at their vehicles or forcing the agents into the use of a force which would have otherwise been unnecessary". He also refers to the blocking of railways and "sieges" of hotels where members of the state's security forces were staying, with "threats" to the owners of the establishments.

For these reasons, the judge concludes that there is a reasonable chance that "actions with serious, immediate and irreparable consequences for the community" will be repeated. "The danger doesn't disappear with the formal statement that they will abandon their strategy of action or with the legal determination to reevaluate their personal situation if their statements prove false", he says, "rather it requires confirming that the possibility of new attacks has indeed disappeared, or that it's gradually being confirmed that the chance of heart is true and real".

Flight risk and destruction of evidence

On the other hand, the judge does not believe the suspects pose a flight risk. He suggests there is a possible "equivalence" between their roles and that of Carme Forcadell and believes that they all have "deep personal, work and social roots" in Catalonia.

Nor does Llarena believe there to be any risk of the destruction of evidence. In fact, he says that the prosecution hasn't provided any evidence showing that the documentation seized by Spanish police from the Mossos d'Esquadra at an incinerator in Sant Adrià de Besòs "could have any link with the events under investigation" or that its destruction "was ordered by those who had already been stripped of their command roles when the documentation was seized".