The nightmare has ended. Two of the three youths who spent a month in pre-trial detention for taking part in the massive protests when the Catalan pro-independence prisoners were found guilty of sedition, on October 15th, 2019, have reached an agreement with the public prosecutors and will accept a punishment that does not involve them spending more time behind bars. The agreement was formalized this Wednesday, in Barcelona court section 22. Specifically, Joan, for whom the prosecutors were seeking 7 years and 9 months in prison for crimes of assault against an authority and disorderly conduct, has accepted a sentence of 2 years and 4 months, and since neither of the two crimes, separately, exceed 2 years, he will thus avoid prison. Marc, who was facing 2 years and 7 months in prison and asked to participate in a Restorative Justice process with two Mossos officers - whom he is compensating with 10,000 euros - has accepted 9 months in prison. For his part, Dren, for whom the prosecutors are asking 4 years and 9 months in prison, has not accepted a deal, and the trial will continue on Thursday only for him.
At the start of the trial, the president of the court, judge Juli Solaz, demanded that the Catalan government's solicitor indicate which Mossos police officers he was representing because "neither the courtroom nor the law allow anonymous accusations". There was a pause for clarification, and in the end, the court ruled that the private prosecution by the Catalan government was withdrawn, and it was allowed to continue in the trial only for the civil liability claimed by the officers who suffered injuries. Solaz scolded the lawyer, for not having done his homework, and even asserted that the investigating judge should have rejected the matter on the same basis, in sending the case to trial. An exceptional fact.
The protest at the Spanish government delegation
"Yes I accept." So were the words of Joan and Marc before the Barcelona Audience court to ratify the agreement reached with the prosecutor. This implies that they judicially accept the prosecutor's account of the facts, despite the fact that they do not share its substance. Joan, Marc and Dren are the first of the twenty people who were in pre-trial detention for the autumn 2019 mobilizations against the Supreme Court verdict on the political prisoners, and the relatives asserted that the authorities were trying to impose an exemplary punishment because they were arrested the day after the great mobilization at Barcelona airport, called by the Tsunami Democràtic protest platform.
Thus, according to the version of the Prosecutor's Office, the three young people, who did not know each other, participated in the call for the protest in front of the headquarters of the Delegation of the Spanish Government, on Carrer Mallorca in Barcelona, on the afternoon of the 15th October 2019, where some protesters threw stones, glass bottles and fences at the officers. And the prosecutor claims that Joan and Marc threw objects and that when they were arrested, they resisted and caused minor injuries to officers.
For this, Joan has accepted 12 months in prison for a crime of public disorder and 16 months for a crime of assault on an authority as wel as compensating police officer to the sum of 600 euros. For his part, Marc assumes a total of 9 months in prison and high compensation because one of the two officers required an operation.
A Tsunami conviction
It is not the first time that young protesters facing high prison demands have accepted a deal with the prosecutors upon reaching trial. Last November, Eduard, a young man from Lleida and a Chemical Engineering student in Barcelona, faced 9 years in prison and in the end accepted a sentence of 3 years and 4 months for having participated in the Tsunami Democràtic protest at the El Prat airport, on October 14th, 2019. The suspension of his entry into prison was requested because the two crimes individually do not exceed 2 years, which is the minimum sentence that makes it obligatory to enter jail, for a first offender.