Some leading politicians from Catalonia and Spain will take the stand on week 3 of the referendum trial, which resumes on Tuesday. They have been summoned by Spain’s Supreme Court as witnesses, and include Mariano Rajoy, the former Spanish president (People’s Party) during the peak of the Catalan crisis in 2017. He is due to face questions from the defense and the prosecution on Wednesday afternoon.
Rajoy’s former deputy, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, will also testify on Wednesday morning. She was in charge of the Spanish government’s regional policy during the height of the conflict.
The former Spanish finance minister, Cristóbal Montoro, will be among the other witnesses, and will declare immediately after Sáenz de Santamaría. Montoro famously told the press that “no public money was spent on the referendum” after his department closely controlled Catalonia’s finances in 2017. This, if true, would contradict the allegation of misuse of public funds that all the former Catalan government members face.
The former Spanish home affairs minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, has been summoned to testify on Thursday afternoon –he was the person in charge of Spain’s law enforcement during the violent crackdown of the vote by Spanish police on October 1, 2017, which left 1,000 injured.
Some Catalan politicians will also appear as witnesses this week, including the current Catalan parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, former Catalan president Artur Mas (Wednesday morning), and Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau (Thursday morning).
Yet, before the witness testimonies start, the last two defendants left to testify will take the stand on Tuesday at 9:30am: activist and president of major grassroots civic organisation Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and the former parliament speaker, Carme Forcadell.
They will bring to an end the testimonies of all 12 defendants on trial, which included the former Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, and the activist and MP, Jordi Sànchez.
Cuixart and Forcadell are expected to testify on Tuesday, with some 20 top witnesses summoned to speak on Wednesday and Thursday.
Two full days might not be enough for all of them –the schedule expects Rajoy to speak for only 30 minutes, although he will face eight defense lawyers, the public prosecutor, the solicitor general and the far-right Vox party, which is a private prosecutor. In that case, an extraordinary session would take place on Friday morning.