Spain's state solicitors want new evidence of independence referendum spending to be added to the independence process case being heard by Barcelona court number 13. The Spanish government's legal counsel have lodged an appeal relating to the accusations of misuse of public funds, requesting that the judge includes an advertising contract worth 110,260 euros which was awarded and paid to Havas Media in 2017 to cover advertisements in foreign newspapers.
The contract was awarded to the media multinational Havas on January 20th, 2017 signed by Joaquim Nin, number two at the Catalan government's presidency department at that time. The services contracted were rendered and payment was made by transfer on May 31st, 2017, a total amount of €110,236.51, according to documents viewed by Europa Press.
The company had to insert a series of advertisements in international press announcing a conference to be held at the European Parliament on January 24th, on the then-proposed Catalan referendum, with Catalan president Puigdemont and several ministers due to speak.
As the state solicitors state in their appeal, the advertisement showed an image of "a ballot box with the Catalan flag on its front and an envelope being deposited into it. As well, the shield and name of the Catalonia government were visible". To the Spanish government lawyers, this was "evidence of criminal use of public funds for the preparation of the referendum on October 1st; in particular, the insertion of advertising in the European written press relating to a conference on the Catalan referendum through the contract awarded to Havas Media Group, the service having been provided, and indeed paid for, by the Catalan administration."
The appeal considers that "as a consequence, these rational indications of a crime of misuse of public funds must be incorporated into the indictment order," although they have been left out until now.