International observers report that some of the police officers giving evidence have "a dark past", involving torture and physical abuse

ITW slams Justice Marchena for allowing lengthy testimonies by Spanish police officers while cutting off the defence lawyers

This Tuesday International Trial Watch reported that some of the senior Spanish police officers called to testify in the trial against the Catalan political leaders in Madrid’s Supreme Court have "a dark past in the police force, involving instances of torture, physical abuse, deaths of detainees while in custody or the justification of such acts".

According to the international observers, the evidence given by such witnesses sets the tone for the version of events provided by Spanish police officers, which is "practically identical" in spite of strict rules that guard against co-witness contamination. It involves "a series of statements which may have been contaminated at source by officers involved in dubious goings on", the ITW concludes.

With regard to the actions of the presiding judge, Justice Marchena, the ITW notes his tendency to allow lengthy testimony from prosecution witnesses, while "limiting cross-examinations by the defence teams when they attempt to question them on contradictions in their testimonies". The international observers also continue to see the fact that the defence do not have access to the full trial calendar and the order of the witnesses, as "worrying", since in their opinion it "hampers the preparation of cross-examinations and weakens the exercise of the right of defence".

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