Updated Friday, March 1, 2019 – 6:41 pm
Carme Forcadell’s lament to her fellow prisoner. She points directly to Junqueras: “He told me that nothing was going to happen to me”. This is narrated by the innmate M., who coincided in Alcalá Meco with the former president of the Parliament, today on the bench of the Supreme Court, together with Dolors Bassa.
Time runs slowly in jail for the procés leaders. Above all, for the one who was president of the Parliament and, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, one of the brains behind the independence rebellion, Carme Forcadell. The former leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) declared last Wednesday before the Supreme Court, accused of a crime of rebellion by the Prosecutor. Crónica has had access to the testimony of one of the companions of the Meco prison with whom she has established a closer relationship in the Madrid prison.
The words of this prisoner can be used to know what the former leader of Omnium Cultural really thinks about her role in favoring the approval of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in the Catalan Parliament. That is, her reflections from the other side of the bars. Out of focus. Out of the poses. Out of those judicial strategies seeking to minimize her responsibility in the rupturist plan from which Forcadell has tried to detach herself.
“I restricted myself to fulfilling my obligations”, said Forcadell, who is sunk emotionally, this week, according to a fellow prisoner who has begged anonymity to avoid any disciplinary proceedings and has authorized the reproduction of the recording. This woman, who has also sent a letter from prison proving her identity, has shared the lowest moments of Forcadell behind bars (she was in Alcalá Meco prison from March 2018 to July 4, when she was transferred to a prison in Catalonia) and her anger against the ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras. She also heard her cursing the escaped Puigdemont.
“Carme told me: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing here, I’ve been cheated’. Carme has felt betrayed by Junqueras. She told me: ‘I got into this because Oriol (Junqueras) told me nothing was going to happen to me. And look at the end what has happened to me. Junqueras told me to support him in this, that nothing was going to happen to me […] We wanted to press, we knew it wouldn’t come out, but it was a way of pushing’. She has had a hard time with her grandson, who was seven months old. She told me: ‘But do you think I’m going to risk for this nonsense not seeing my family, and my grandson, who is just born, or being with my children? I did not know that this was going to happen to me, that I was going to go to jail. I never knew it’”, says the prisoner, who also brings forward Forcadell’s animadversion towards the escaped former president Carles Puigdemont .
“Gap” between Forcadell and Bassa
“You can’t talk about Puigdemont with her because she gets sick and she also looks at you and tells you that she doesn’t want to talk about that guy. She told me: ‘We are here for this bastard'”, explains the inmate, who ensures that the discussions around Puigdemont caused a breach in the relationship of ideological closeness between Forcadell and her cellmate, the former Minister of Labor of the Generalitat and also prosecuted in the trial of the procés, Dolors Bassa.
“That’s why they were put in different rooms. They didn’t want to be together. Suddenly, they broke up overnight. They were at number 10. Dolors came to us and said: ‘I want to separate because I have fallen from the bunk’, and I said, “Look, if you fall off the bunk you will tear yourself apart, you will break into four pieces”. The lady was not moving. There were screams between them, we knew they were going to separate. Dolors is a lot more radical. Carme is much calmer in that sense. One day we were playing domino and a mate of mine said a simple silly phrase, and just for you to see how Dolors is: Carme said ‘hey, what a beautiful group of Spaniards’; and Dolors got up from the table, left and said: ‘I am not Spaniard'”, says the inmate of the Meco prison, asserting that Forcadell regrets having participated in the entire operation against the unity of Spain.
“She regrets what she has done. Dolors, no; Carme, yes. She is very afraid that she could get the sentence she is waiting for [the Prosecutor’s Office asks for her 17 years in prison for a crime of rebellion, and the State Lawyer 10 years for a crime of sedition]”, says the prisoner, who adds an anecdote during the celebration of the last World Cup in Russia that would diminish the degree of alleged anti-Spain feelings of Forcadell.
“When the World Cup was developing and the team of Spain played, Carme approached me when I was with a couple of Spaniards and asked me: ‘Hey how are we doing?’ And I looked at her and said: ‘How are we doing? You are not a Spaniard!’ And she told me: ‘No, no, tell me how are we doing'”, recalls the inmate, who explains that Forcadell wanted to be transferred to a prison in Catalonia” to be close to her mother “of advanced age and to her family. The only thing that mattered to her was her family, which is having a very bad time”, explains this lady, who exchanged correspondence with Forcadell during the latter’s stay at the Tarragona El Catllar prison where she was transferred in July 2018 from Meco. She had entered in that prison on remand in March of that same year.
Letters from prison to prison
“When she went to Tarragona we were writing from prison to prison, she told me two months ago in her last letter that she was going to stop writing to me because she had received the summary of 50,000 folios and she was not going to have time because she had to study it. ‘As I will return soon I will see you there’, she told me”, says the inmate, who met her again when she was transferred from Tarragona to Meco in early February.
The inmate recounts what Forcadell’s Groundhog Day is like in prison. “At 8:30 we have breakfast and then we have all day for our activities until half past one, when we have lunch. At 2:30 we are locked up until 5:30 and then from 5:30 to 7:30, time for dinner, we have our sports activities or whatever we want, and then at 8:30 they already lock us up until 8 in the morning. In this module almost all of us are alone because we are not many. We will be about 89 in the module. There is no conflict, no fighting, in other modules yes. Ours is very quiet”, explains this woman, who states that Forcadell is spending her time on certain activities.
“Carme has done aerobics, crafts. Carme does more sports and English, which she speaks very well. Dolors ignores everything”, says the inmate, who explains that since the recent arrival of Carme to the module “the heads of service and director “are very watchful of her so no one can photograph them. This lady assures that Carme’s desire is to get out of prison. “We are all badly and the phrase we all repeat here is that we want to leave now. We all want to leave. She has a very bad time”, explains this inmate who acknowledges that she has get affection for Forcadell.