A forceful counterstatement. The Spanish public prosecutor in the National Audience criminal court has filed an appeal against the decision of judge Manuel García Castellón, in which he asserts that there is no evidence to lay charges for terrorism offences against any of the 12 people investigated in the Democratic Tsunami case, and less still against exiled Catalan president and MEP Carles Puigdemont, who, surprisingly, was included in the investigation in the judge's resolution of this Monday 6th November, as was the general secretary of the Republican Left (ERC), Marta Rovira. In the appeal, the prosecution service maintains that the judge's decision "lacks a general motivation" and that "no specific actions" are attributed to Puigdemont, and asserts that "it cannot be maintained that Rovira was coordinating Tsunami, either." The prosecutor even calls it "naïve" of the judge to make an offer to Puigdemont to appear in court given that he "continues to be a fugitive", and concludes that not having petitioned the European Parliament to waive his parliamentary immunity prior to seeking his extradition is already evidence of "the intangibility of the accusation".
In addition, the prosecutor criticizes the assumptions made by the Civil Guard in its latest report on the case centred on the pro-independence protest platform and concludes that, after analyzing the devices of those investigated, the majority from another independence process investigation, the Volhov case, "there is not a single reference to violence by any of those investigated". He maintains that they cannot be blamed for the clashes that took place in the autumn of 2019 between the police and demonstrators in Barcelona and other cities, as well as the street furniture that was destroyed.
In the appeal presented this Friday, the prosecutor's office maintains that in the four years of investigation "it has not been shown that there is any organized criminal group, nor with a hierarchy" and that the facts that could be classed as indications of criminal behaviour are the mass demonstration at Barcelona-El Prat airport, on October 14th, 2019, the day that the Supreme Court verdicts against the pro-independence leaders were announced, and the closure of the AP-7 motorway in La Jonquera, which would fit into the crime of public disorder, since the crime of sedition no longer exists in Spain. For this reason, the prosecution service asks the National Audience's criminal chamber (it disregards the appeal before the judge) to refer the Democratic Tsunami case to the courts of Barcelona or whereever the events took place.
In an unyielding submission, the prosecutor Miguel Ángel Carballo, states that the judge in his decision on Monday "recognizes the current impossibility of establishing with any certainty the classification of the actions as terrorism and goes as far as to refer to future investigative steps that could confirm if this is the case." He asserts that "the simple reading of the proceedings" contained in the resolution "shows that none of them could give rise to such a legal classification, nor in relation to the existence of a criminal organization or group, nor in the aspect that the facts constitute a crime of terrorism".
In these controversial proceedings, judge García Castellón has asked the Civil Guard to clarify whether the French traveller who died at El Prat airport could be blamed on the Tsunami investigators. Gonzalo Boye, lawyer for president Puigdemont and his chief of staff Josep Lluís Alay, asked the judge not to trivialize the crime of terrorism. In addition, he challenged the judge over how long he had been investigating president Puigdemont and whether this information had been hidden from the European Parliament.
No criminal group
In addition, the prosecutor states that it has not been proven that there is a criminal group because "neither hierarchies, nor distribution of functions among those investigated, nor the existence of a management body, nor the concerted perpetration of different criminal acts have been shown".
In this regard, prosecutor Carballo specifies that "there is no union of people nor the committing of offences jointly in numbers greater than two", and he quotes the businessperson Oriol Soler and the ERC deputy Rubén Wagensberg, both investigated, and charged with making the announcements for the anonymous protest platform. And he maintains that Democratic Tsunami, as stated in the procedure, cannot be considered even tentatively as a structured and hierarchical organization or with an intention to be permanent, with the existence of several people with various roles, as the investigating judge states."
Tsunami, an application
In addition, the prosecutor states that Democratic Tsunami, in what has been shown in the court proceedings, "is nothing more than a Twitter profile" and in its most advanced phase of the facts, an app designed for access to QR codes that would allow people access to communications issued by this supposed entity. The prosecutor Carballo criticizes that "it cannot be presumed that expressions of incontestability contained in the final Civil Guard report" - which employed wordings such as 'obviously' or 'it could not be otherwise' - "show the existence of this type of organization, behind which there is a mere computer 'app' or a mere Twitter profile". In fact, it specifies that the app "was not launched until October 15th, 2019, when the action at El Prat airport, the most important, had already taken place, the day immediately before".
Little serious evidence on any of the accused
As for the rest of those listed by the judge as under investigation, the prosecutor details that "only in two cases is there any criminal importance". The businessperson Oriol Soler, he maintains, could be attributed with "at the most, monitoring the actions of Democratic Tsunami" in real time, with respect to the events that happened at El Prat airport, deciding on Tsunami publications or social media posts in support of Tsunami.
Regarding the former ERC director Xavier Vendrell, the prosecutor states that "the accusations are weak", given the content of the police reports. "The sympathies of the investigated person with Tsunami do not mean that he participates directly", maintains the prosecutor, adding that "it is unsustainable to attribute to him the coordination of the actions at El Prat airport just for saying: 'They should take food and drink to those who are there' - given that he is not there". The same applices to the later actions at the Barça-Madrid match at Camp Nou. "It is inconsistent to maintain an accusation, only through Vendrell saying Marta Rovira, that 'his people will do it'", said the prosecutor.
He also rules out that criminal actions can be imputed to the journalist Jesús Rodríguez, to the computer scientist Jaume Cabaní, who was said to be in charge of the financial side; to Catalan MP Rubèn Wagensberg, to the Òmnium director, Oleguer Sierra, and nor to Josep Lluís Alay, head of president Puigdemont's office.
On the contrary, the prosecutor maintains that the activist Marta Molina could be accused of having "a significant participation in the attempt to blockade the Madrid-Barajas airport, by giving indications", and also in the AP-7 motorway blockade, but he discards totally what the police reports assert, "a direct or organizing participation in Tsunami". And as well, Josep Campmajó is accused of a "significant" action in the AP-7 blockade "but nothing more".