The prosecution narrative accusing pro-independence protestors of using violence against Police officers ‘are not supported by evidence’. This is one of the conclusions of a report written by two former high-ranking police officials in Scotland Yard and commissioned by Òmnium Cultural.
Sir Hugh Orde, a former chief constable with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and expert on public order and Duncan McCausland, former assistant chief constable of the PSNI, went through more than 100 CCTV videos, documents and social media messages, mainly related to the 20-S protest in front of the Economy Department in Barcelona and those carried out on the referendum day.
The two security experts also came to the outcome that on the 1st of October “effective” and “successful” actions were combined with “indiscriminate, unwanted and disproportionate use” of force by Spanish Police. “We have not seen any evidence of violence organized during the day, nor routinely throwing objects to the police … nor anything that has caused us concern in terms of violence,” the Scotland Yard report asserts.
A few days before the 1-O, thousands of citizens protested against a Police raid carried out against Catalan Government officials by gathering outside the Economy Department, in Barcelona. Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, leaders of pro-independence associations ANC and Òmnium Cultural at that time, are both accused of rebellion for allegedly orchestrating a violent demonstration. Two police cars were trashed and police were trapped inside the building for hours.
The report, however, says that both activists asked the crowd to remain peaceful during the demonstration. “There is a theme running through the speeches of insisting that the protest is peaceful and that violence should be isolated,” it concludes.
Nevertheless, the report’s findings have been rejected by the court. Seven judges barred Sir Hugh’s evidence from being used in the trial, ruling: “This expert can only bring his appreciable experience in historic conflicts gathered in other countries and does not have direct experience of the events being judged.”