Read in Catalan

The Tsunami case judge, Manuel García-Castellón, has published another resolution, this Monday, in which he presents new information demands to Spanish organisms, and also to European ones, to clarify the "incidents" that the massive demonstration at Barcelona-El Prat airport, following the court sentencing of the Catalan pro-independence leaders, on October 14th, 2019, caused with respect to airspace, incidents which he imputes to the 12 people investigated for "terrorism", which is the classification he seeks to apply to the organizers of Democratic Tsunami, the anonymous platform set up in 2019 that promoted the demonstrations in Catalonia.

Now, the judge has even given an order to "notify NATO, through the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), to collect from the incidents recorded at the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejón de Ardoz (CAOCT), any incident that may have been recorded in domestic and international air traffic, related to the events that took place on 14/10/2019 at Barcelona-El Prat airport. In the event that some any incident was registered, it is requested that it be declassified, should it be classified as secret, for its incorporation into the criminal procedure," states the judge's resolution.

The National Audience judge indicates that all the responses should be sent with a copy going to the Supreme Court, to which he elevated an argued case for investigating the Catalan president in exile, Carles Puigdemont, given that his status as an MEP means that such an investigation, if deemed appropriate, would have to be carried out by high court.


The French citizen who died

In addition, the judge requests the cooperation of the French authorities to search for the family of the French citizen who died from a heart attack hours after being at the airport, coinciding with the 2019 protest, although the man's daughter has already said she doesn't want to open up the case, it was reported this weekend. The man suffered from heart disease and was taken to Bellvitge Hospital, where he died and it was certified that it was of natural causes.

Specifically, the judge has ordered that the competent authority in France be requested "in order to identify the relatives of Jean Claude Scherzinger, to proceed to make the appropriate offer of actions to the family, with information on what they can do to be a party in the criminal proceedings". The judge adds that "there is a need to obtain a statement from Francine Scherzinger," the wife of the deceased man who was with him, in order "to know, first-hand, what happened, and to obtain a testimonial statement about the circumstances of the death, with all the data that could serve to clarify to what extent the events that took place on 14/10/2019 could have affected the fatal outcome".

El Prat expert at the hospital

With this action, the National Audience judge ignores a decision made by a judge from the neighbouring city of l'Hospitalet de Llobregat who in 2019 affirmed that the death of the French citizen "was not a crime", given the medical reports, and thus shelved the case without taking any action.

However, Manuel García-Castellón insists on including the death in the Tsunami investigation. And he has ordered the Civil Guard to "carry out an expert check to identify the distance between Terminals T1 and T2 of Barcelona Airport and Bellvitge Hospital, the time it takes an ambulance to transfer from the Hospital at the Airport, and if the use of a helicopter is justified". He also wants to know whether the SEM ambulance service detailed all medical incidents recorded at El Prat airport.

Requests to the EU

In addition, the judge orders the Civil Guard to ask ENAIRE, the Spanish government-dependent  body which manages air traffic control, to provide information on "all incidents related to air traffic recorded on 14/10/2019, linked to the events that took place at Barcelona's El Prat Airport; if any flights destined for El Prat airport had to be diverted that day; impact of the events of September 14th at El Prat airport to the operation of other domestic and international airports, and any incident recorded at the Barcelona-Gavà control tower".

As well, the judge asks "to order the European Union Agency for Aviation Safety (AESA) to report in relation to all recorded air traffic-related incidents", on 14th September 2019, linked to the events that took place at El Prat airport, and "if any flight destined for El Prat airport had to be diverted and for what reason", and "effects on the operation of other domestic and international airports".

Influence on the 2019 Spanish election

And he doesn't stop there. García-Castellón also adds that "the investigation has made it possible to verify that Democratic Tsunami tried to influence the electoral process", of the general election of November 10th, 2019. He maintains that Tsunami "called through Twitter and Telegram to its followers to disobey Spain's Central Electoral Commission (JEC), by organizing, during the day of reflection on November 9th, a series of cultural, political and festive activities in all cities, towns and neighbourhoods in the territory of the Catalan autonomous community, intending, with this, to interfere in the electoral process".

For this reason, the judge now orders the JEC to report on the actions taken in relation to the events that took place on the day of reflection on November 9th, 2019. "The report must include if any request was made to prevent these actions", specifies the judge. In addition, it demands that the Barcelona city council inform whether the assembly of a stage in Plaça Universitat was authorized for the celebration of some kind of show or celebration. And it states: "In the event that this is the case, identify those who requested permission for the event." And, at the same time, he asks the Barcelona Guardia Urbana police to send all records they hold about the celebration, as well as reports, complaints, certificates, photographic or video records. It all indicates that it aims to clarify "if any act of a political nature expressly prohibited by the LOREG was carried out". With the same objective, it also requests information from the Catalonia delegation of the Spanish government.

The judge is demanding all of this now - four years after the events and after the start of investigations, which were secret for months, and in which countries such as Switzerland denied collaboration considering that they were actions taken within a political context, and not criminal.