Spain's Civil Guard searches Catalan police HQ


Spain's Civil Guard police force on Tuesday searched the headquarters of Catalonia's regional police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, in a probe centred on the outlawed independence referendum on October 1, a spokesman said.
"We're carrying out an inspection related to the Mossos d'Esquadra's communications on the day of the illegal referendum on October 1," the Civil Guard spokesman told AFP.
He said officers were searching the headquarters in Sabadell, a city in Catalonia, and other offices.
The Mossos were tasked with stopping the ballot, which had been deemed illegal by Spain's Constitutional Court.
But senior Mossos officers issued orders not to use force, and agents steered clear of clashes with activists gathered in large numbers to protect voting stations.
Members of the national police intervened instead, seizing ballot boxes in a clampdown marred by violence against civilians.
The Mossos have since been criticised for not closing down polling stations as they had been asked to. They retorted that they shut as many as they could.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says he will respect the results of the snap election called by Madrid in response to the declaration of independence by the province’s parliament. He then called on the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy to say whether he would do the same.
Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, Puigdemont reiterated his support for democracy and peaceful resistance to Madrid’s pressure on Catalonia. He said he arrived in the Belgian capital to put the issue of Catalan independence “in the heart” of the European Union.
Puigdemont said he and his government, which has been sacked by the central government in Madrid, were denouncing“the polarization of the Spanish justice system” in dealing with the political crisis and wanted to “show the world the serious democratic deficit that exists in the Spanish state.”
“I would like to ask the Spanish government a question: Will it do the same?” he asked. “I want a clear commitment from the State, will you respect the results or not?”He said the province’s deposed leadership would submit to Madrid’s order to hold an emergency parliamentary election on December 21, and respect its result.
When asked whether he will be seeking political asylum in Belgium, Puigdemont said he did not go to Brussels for that reason. Puigdemont is facing criminal charges for disobeying the Spanish government in pursuit of Catalan independence, including for appropriation of budget funds to hold a referendum on the issue.
Puigdemont said he and his government left Barcelona to avoid possible violence, should the Spanish government try to arrest them. He added that he would return to Catalonia, if given “guarantees” of safety.
Spain's Civil Guard searches Catalan police HQ Spain's Civil Guard searches Catalan police HQ Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 05:27:00 Rating: 5