The trial of Adrian Sas, the young man from Vilafranca del Penedès accused of public disorder, assault and battery for his participation in 2018 in the protests on the first anniversary of the October 1 Referendum, was heard on Tuesday, pending ruling. Despite the fact that JxCat and ERC had positioned themselves last week in Parliament in favour of withdrawing the government's private prosecution, the executive's legal services decided to maintain the request for five and a half years in prison against Sas - the public prosecution is asking for seven - and the accused fears that his imprisonment is inevitable. He explains this in his first post-trial interview.
How are you feeling emotionally?
Disappointed because the Generalitat has committed itself to withdrawing two of the three charges and only keep battery and eliminate assault and public disorders.
How do you evaluate the role of the Generalitat and specifically of JxCat and ERC, who last week committed in Parliament to withdrawing the accusation?
This is yet another betrayal by the Generalitat. First they did not implement the mandate of October 1st; then they told us to put pressure on and defend this mandate; they ended up sending the Mossos [Catalan police] to beat us and to repress us judicially.
Did you trust the Generalitat to withdraw the main accusations?
Beyond the fact that JxCat and ERC appeared in the Parliament denouncing my case, I received a call from JxCat reassuring me that they had reached an agreement to withdraw the accusations and that I could rest assured. I was a little worried because you don't trust these parties very much seeing what they have done in recent years, but I was hoping that in the end they would keep their word. They did not.
The Government assures us that they proposed you to postpone the trial in order to find a solution.
That's a lie. It's a slander to cover their backs. They screwed up because my lawyer never got this proposal as he made public yesterday.
To what do you attribute the fact that the executive says they proposed to postpone the trial?
We are in a pre-election period and they don't want to lose their seats, but the truth is that they have succumbed to the Mossos' lobby and now they are trying to blame us.
The lawyers of the Generalitat defend the police action.
They are defending the word of Jordi Arasa, who was in charge of this complaint because he is one of the agents who accused me of having slashed his chin. Arasa was tried and sentenced to two years in prison for his actions against Indignados protestors. The fact that the Generalitat gave validity to his testimony over ours shows the importance of the role played by the Mossos' pressure groups in these accusations. Not only has Arasa not been removed, but today he has been promoted as head of the explosive corps. The responsible are not punished but rewarded.
Your lawyer accuses the Generalitat of wanting to "save face" by closing ranks with police action.
Yes. It's one more way of giving in to the police unions, whose political leanings we all know. They said they wanted change these policies, but they keep succumbing to police pressure.
And all this when last week the Catalan Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, said he was working to reduce the number of charges of injury in the many cases in which the Generalitat has taken action against participants in pro-independence demonstrations - about forty right now, according to Alerta Solidària.
The minister admitted in the parliamentary commission that the accusations were made in a direct way, that it was necessary to change them and that the department would only push charges of battery in all the cases.
The accusation's witnesses identify you "without any doubt" as the cause of the injuries and provide images. How do you refute this?
The lawyer has already done so. The images they offer are both during the day and the night. There are many inconsistencies. In the images from October 1, 2018, there is a very large crowd and the accusations made against me cannot be attributed to me because no aggression can be seen. You only see Officer Arasa falling when a fence is thrown at him. He says that I hit him when he fell, but there are no images to validate this and the doctor who testified said that the injury could have been the result of the fall itself. Be that as it may, there is no image of me or anyone else hitting him.
Let's talk about the injuries. Officer Arasa accuses you of slashing his chin and two other officers of causing them injuries.
My lawyer asked them how it was possible to hit three officers in three different places in the police line at the same time, as the statement says. It doesn't make any sense.
Do you see yourself in prison?
The sentence will come out around Christmas. I'm an optimist by nature, but I think I might end up in prison. The minimum sentence that the Generalitat is asking for is four years, which already entails prison time, while that of the Public Prosecutor's Office is one year and nine months in prison. Therefore, the Generalitat has the last word on my admission to prison. They would be to blame.
Your possible entry into prison coincides with the provisional freedom granted yesterday to Dani Gallardo.
With Gallardo, a little justice has been done because he has spent more than a year in prison. In his case, we have seen how JxCat and ERC accuse the Spanish government of repression but they do the same with us here. I see no difference in the repressive policy of the State and that of Catalonia. With the aggravating circumstance that they encourage us to go out and defend the institutions, which we will continue to do, but they do not defend the Catalan people.