Three years and four months jail, suspended: that is the result of the first court case for one of the protesters who took part in the Democratic Tsunami group's demonstration at Barcelona's El Prat airport, on October 14th, 2019, upon learning of the conviction for sedition of the Catalan pro-independence leaders by the Supreme Court. Eduard, a young man from Lleida and a chemical engineering student in Barcelona, accepted a sentence of 3 years and 4 months in prison for a crime of public disorder and an attack against a police officer by admitting that he took part in the protest involving rioting. At the trial, in the Barcelona Audience this Monday, the public prosecutor, which initially demanded 9 years in prison, reduced its request, and this was accepted by the man, in addition to a fine of 1,400 euros.
The lawyer of the accused, Carles Esteve, asked the court to suspend his entry into prison, in application of article 80.3 of the Penal Code, which allows for prison to be avoided if the penalties separately do not exceed two years in prison, and if the person has no previous record, as in the case of the university student. The three judges at the Barcelona court announced the sentence verbally, as well as the suspension of the defendant's entry into prison on the condition that he does not commit any further crime for 4 years.
Actions that lead to conviction
As for the actions that he was involved in, on a day that saw massive protests all over Catalonia, Eduard accepted the facts as set out by the prosecutor, who affirmed that he was part of a large group of demonstrators who gathered to access Terminal 1, the main international terminal, of Barcelona-El Prat airport. "He did not pay heed to police orders", and "wanted to attack the public peace" and paralyze the infrastructure, according to the prosecutor's report. It added that "in an authentic situation of chaos", the Mossos riot police officers formed two lines of containment, and that the accused, wearing a helmet, took a fire extinguisher mounted on a column in the hall and "in contempt of the principle of authority took the extinguisher hose and sprayed the officers for several seconds before throwing it at the officers.” No officers were injured.
Another Tsunami trial over Camp Nou protest
This Wednesday, a second trial relating to the 2019 Tsunami protests will be held, when the Barcelona Audience hears the case of another man, accused of causing disturbances in the protest that Tsunami called at the FC Barcelona stadium, the Camp Nou, on 18th December 2019. In this case, the prosecutor is demanding 7 years in prison for offences of public disorder, an assault on an authority figure, and causing injury. Two people have already been sentenced for disorderly behaviour in this football stadium protest and the second section of the Barcelona Audience agreed to suspend their entry into prison.
The Democratic Tsunami platform appeared anonymously on social media and mobilized thousands of citizens to take part in protests against the Supreme Court's sentences of the Catalan pro-independence leaders. A senior Spanish criminal court, the National Audience, is continuing in secret with an investigation to uncover the leading figures behind the people. Two of the main defendants are the former Catalan government minister, Xavier Vendrell (ERC party), and a former senior figure in the CDC party, David Madí.