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Switzerland has refused to collaborate with Spain's National Audience criminal court to clarify who was behind the Tsunami Democràtic protest platform because, in its opinion, its actions were part of "a political crime", for which the Alpine country's legislation does not allow international cooperation. In addition, it adds that in the events described by the Spanish authorities involving the pro-independence protest organization, active in 2018, "there is no criminal violence" that would connect the group to crimes of terrorism and criminal organization, necessary under the Swiss Penal Code. This international rejection is stated in the case summary by the National Audience, the secrecy of which was lifted last week, three years and five months after a prospective investigation, led by National Audience central investigative court number 6, was undertaken to find out who was behind the Tsunami Democràtic platform, which first appeared on social media on September 2nd, 2019 and mobilized large numbers of Catalans to protest against the Supreme Court's sentencing of the Catalan pro-independence leaders, made public on October 14th, 2019. It has been speculated that the judge Manuel García Castellón, allowed the Spanish Civil Guard to carry out surveillance of hundreds of telephones, especially leaders of political parties ERC and Junts, and people linked to the Òmnium civil group. The conversations that were monitored, which in turn are alleged to reveal differences between the pro-independence parties are another controversial part of the case.

The court has been able to keep its investigation secret for so long while waiting responses from the letters rogatory process of obtaining information through foreign justice systems, specifically on who created the Tsunami app and its funding, with inquiries being made in Switzerland, Canada, the United States and the Netherlands. As reported by Catalan public television and confirmed by this Thursday, the response from Switzerland was very clear: the Swiss authorities, in accordance with their law, consider that the Tsunami protests at the Barcelona airport and La Jonquera border crossing were events that fit into crimes of a political nature rather than offences of terrorism or criminal organization, which was the alleged motive for the investigation opened in the National Audience. Switzerland was also asked for details of the holders of a current bank account in the CIM Banque Geneve-Wollerau-Lugano, linked to Tsunami Democràtic.

From the other countries, there is no conclusive information. In the case of the United States authorities, who were asked to name the users of GitHub accounts (S3rrallonga, tsunamidemocratic, FreeCatalonia 1714 and fuckspain, among others), they respond to the questions with another question: How did the investigation determine that S3rrallonga was the account that developed the Tsunami app? They even state that developing this messaging tool does not mean that the same account is responsible for the protest mobilizations and for using it on social media.

Forceful response

Specifically, Switzerland's federal department of justice and police responded, on March 26th, 2020, to the Spanish justice ministry, which acts as liaison with the National Audience, that according to Swiss legislation "a request for assistance is inadmissible if the object of the procedure is an action that, according to the Swiss understanding, has a preponderant political character". And they add: "We note that, although the actions described in the Spanish request have a criminal nature, in Swiss legislation, the political nature of the crime, if there is a crime, constitutes, in any case, a reason for inadmissibility of the request".

As Switzerland's response states, "political crime does not give rise to Swiss cooperation, to the extent that it is directed exclusively against the political and social organization of the requesting state, even to the extent that it occurs in the framework of a struggle for or against power and is closely related to the objective of this struggle". And in addition, the Swiss reply adds, that in the actions attributed to Tsunami there were no violent acts, "nor was the life or physical integrity of people put at risk", as it could be - indicates the text - in the case of the hijacking of a plane.

Accusations, unspecified

In the case summary, there is, for now, no conclusive resolution in which the judge would specify the people investigated and crimes they are accused of, and that is why the prosecution service will now have to decide who it ultimately wants to investigate, redirect the cases to the appropriate courts where the alleged events took place, or request them to be closed, according to legal sources.

Of the long list of people targeted by espionage, those who have clearly been investigated are seven defendants in the Volhov case, arrested in October 2020 and who, in the summer of 2021, were called to appear by the investigative judge. They are: Oriol Soler Castanys, publisher and general director of SOM; the former Catalan minister from the ERC party, Xavier Vendrell, whom the Civil Guard maintains has the job of launching Tsunami and its protest mobilizations at the airport, the AP-7 motorway and ther Camp Nou stadium; the former director of the CDC party, David Madí, stated in the summary to be familiar with Tsunami, but not in the management; the dirertor of Carles Puigdemont's office, Josep Lluís Alay; computer scientist Jaume Cabaní; Marta Molina and Josep Campmajó, the latter as coordinator of mobilizations with other groups, such as the CDRs. The general secretary of ERC, Marta Rovira, is also cited as a driving force behind Tsunami in Switzerland, working with the collaboration of Soler, and the approval of president Carles Puigdemont. Rovira, however, has not been investigated directly. For now, only Soler has been named in the court proceedings, while the rest are waiting for the judge to cite them as under investigation or close the cases against them.

Network in police and IT areas

In one of the latest reports, the Civil Guard asserts that those investigated in the Volhov case received the support of Catalan police officers from the Mossos d'Esquadra, specifically three officers (whose names are quoted) to identify car licence plates and police protocols, and were also assisted by computer scientists in the dissemination of the Tsunami protest objectives and the task of hiding the source of the platform. The Civl Guard also gives information on the cyber security measures taken by Campmajó and Cabaní.

Victim of police persecution

Recently, Oriol Soler's defence lawyer asked the Constitutional Court for the lifting of the secrecy in this investigation that the National Audience Court opened on October 17tht, 2019. Soler, through his lawyer Benet Salellas, is the only one of those investigated in the Volhov case who appeared in the case, which was initially denied, but was then corrected by the appeals room of the National Audience. In his argument to the Constitutional Court, the lawyer affirmed: "Soler has well-founded suspicions to believe that he is the victim of an unjustified, ideological police and judicial persecution and the victim of a prospective investigation." Now, with access to the case, he has already been able to check the investigations and the charges against him, in addition to the controversial phone conversations, which have not yet transpired.