Two days ago it was announced that inspector Jordi Arasa of the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, had been appointed head of the force's bomb squad (Tedax). Despite the fact that at the time the Catalan police assured that Arasa had held this post for a few weeks, the procedure for making it effective had not yet been completed. It was the Minister of the Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, who revealed this Friday in an interview on TV3's Planta baixa that Arasa's appointment as head of the Tedax was on hold. "It is neither executed nor signed", explained Sàmper. Mossos sources have confirmed that the administrative procedure had not been completed because they were waiting to evaluate Arasa's suitability for the new position.
The mess comes because, indeed, a few weeks ago Arasa was proposed as head of the Tedax. The post was assigned to a Mossos inspector by a process of free designation, which implies, according to knowing sources, that it may awarded or refused freely. But Arasa's appointment has not yet been formalised. Now the question remains whether he will be able to assume the post or whether he will never have the approval he needs to occupy it. Sàmper questioned the suitability of the inspector: he recalled that he was awaiting an appeal against a conviction for which, if it is final, he "could not occupy" the post of head of the Tedax. The sentence of the Barcelona Court, which imposes two years and four months in prison, establishes that he will not be able to work as a police officer during the time of his sentence.
The Mossos Commanders' Union (Sicme) has regretted in a tweet that the procedure to assign the post to Arasa has been stopped: "The electoral pre-campaign cannot justify everything. The inspector is an active official waiting for a firm resolution that can be acquitted and has the right and capacity to take charge of the Tedax".
A year ago Arasa approved the promotion to inspector. Shortly after the trial for which he was convicted, he was appointed head of the riot police in Barcelona. Until then, he had been the deputy chief, and he held this position until he was handed the prison sentence for high handedness during the eviction of the Indignados in Plaça Catalunya. Arasa appealed the sentence to the Supreme Court, which is yet to emit a ruling. However, the day after the sentence he was removed from the riot police. The then head of the Mossos, the commissioner Eduard Sallent, announced that he would no longer deal with public order and that he had to decide what his fate would now be.
When it became known that Arasa would be the new head of the Tedax, the police disassociated the change from the return of Major Josep Lluís Trapero as head of the Mossos.