Read in Catalan

Joaquim Forn, former Catalan minister of interior during the so-called 17-A terrorist attacks on Catalonia, has reacted to the revelation made by former police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo about what happened that day. "What is the Public Prosecutor's Office going to do, cover it up as the Congress of Deputies has done? We have the right to know the truth", said Forn on social media after hearing the retired policeman's words.

Villarejo has blamed the Spanish National Intelligence Centre (CNI) for the August 2017 attacks on Barcelona and Cambrils, which were a "serious mistake" by then director of the CNI, Félix Sanz Roldán. Specifically, the former commissioner accused him on Tuesday in court of "miscalculating the consequences in order to give Catalonia a little scare" in the days leading up to the October 1st referendum. In fact, he assured that he collaborated with the CNI to "try and fix the mess" caused by "the attack of the imam of Ripoll".

TUIT Joaquim Forn

These statements by Villarejo confirm the information about the link between the CNI and the 17-A attacks, although this branch was not investigated during the trial that ended at the beginning of 2021 in the Spanish National Audience court. A trial in which the former commissioner himself did not testify, despite the requests of some. Hence, Forn now claims the "right to know the truth", after newspaper Público revealed the relationship between the imam of Ripoll and the CNI in 2019.

Forn has not been the only one to demand an investigation into what really happened on August 17th 2017. Lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, who was part of the trial on the attacks, recalled that the investigation on this issue was prevented. Likewise, Jordi Turull, who was minister of the Catalan government in 2017, spoke on the attitude of the Spanish authorities regarding the obscurantism of the role of the state in the attacks: "Between them (judges and media courts) they will cover everything up, under the logic that first comes unity and then the truth". The spokesperson for Junts in the Congress of Deputies, Míriam Nogueras, also recalled which parties voted "no" to the 17-A commission of enquiry: "PSOE, PSC, PP and Cs".

TUIT Jordi Turull

Villarejo had already pointed to the CNI's responsibility on January 15th 2021, when he testified in a trial in which he was accused of slander against Sanz Roldán. He claimed that a "very important" source had warned the CNI of a "possible risk" of an attack in Barcelona, but "the CNI said he was not reliable" because "he had worked for them, but he was actually a Moroccan spy".

On this occasion, however, the former commissioner points directly to the intentionality of the former director of the CNI. According to his testimony, Sanz Roldán made "a serious mistake" because he "miscalculated the consequences in order to give Catalonia a little scare". He stated this during the trial of three of the branches of the Tándem case, which is taking place at the Spanish National Audience court and is judging several of the commands that the former commissioner carried out.