Madrid / Barcelona 6 NOV 2019 – 21:31 CET
The members of the Defense Committees of the Republic (CDR) imprisoned for terrorism by order of the National Court had a mission: to storm the Parlament and “defend it” for a week so that the Catalan president, Quim Torra, proclaimed the Republic without being arrested. Ferran Jolis, one of those arrested – who had to ensure communications – told the judge that the occupation was an assignment that came “from above, from the Presidency … from Torra.”
The Civil Guard attributes to Ferran Jolis the creation of the so-called Tactical Response Teams (ERT), the most combative sector of the CDR. Seven of them were jailed last September for integration into a terrorist group, possession of explosives and conspiracy to wreak havoc. The analysis of the telephone conversations leads the researchers to conclude that the ERTs had a “conspiracy plan against the political institutions of the State in Catalonia”. And that the spearhead of that plan was “the assault and subsequent illegal occupation of the Parlament” to shield it and prevent it from being accessed from outside.
The first clue about the alleged occupation came to the ears of the police in October 2018, when Xavier Buigas – 48-year-old forestry guard and former councilman of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya – called Jolis to explain that a “secret group” called “Catalan CNI” had contacted him to undertake an “action” in the Parliament. Buigas assumed the order and, later, during the registration in his farmhouse in Sant Pere de Torelló, the agents found a handwritten notebook with notes on the “Great House”. There he indicated that it was important to have “relays”, to organize “talks and antirepressant colloquiums” in the gardens in front of the Parliament and also everything related to logistics: one or two vans, tents, tables …
The fact is that Buigas explained the operational details: that the occupation should proceed “through the main door” and that both he and a “small group”, supported by that alleged CNI Catalan, should rent flats and premises to give them security and operational bases. Jolis was asked to take care of what he did best: computer science and telecommunications. He had to establish a “secure and undetectable communication network” to secure communications from inside the building.
“I am playing my ass, because if I get caught, I’m going to get a terrorist and organized band penalty,” Jolis said, somewhat premonitory, in a talk in later days. The computer expert, who had the telephone intervened but did not realize it, in further talks he explained that the objective was to “resist a week” in the Parliament and that in order to achieve this they would need “two hidden flats” and install long distance antennas.” And they would require, of course, money: about 6,000 euros.
After being arrested, Jolis chose to testify. Before the Civil Guard, he said that 1-O “affected him a lot” and that belonging to the CDRs had helped him overcome a depression. And he admitted that one of the objectives of the assault was President Torra “remained locked up on D-Day”, that is when the judgment of the process against the independence leaders was announced. In that statement, and later before the judge, he said that the commission on the assault on Parliament “came from the Presidency” of the Generalitat, although he did not give more details.
Jordi Ros, also incarcerated, was the other member of the ERT that decided to declare. He confirmed the existence of an (frustrated) occupation plan with even more surprising details. According to his statement, another of those involved, Alexis Codina, said that a good idea to achieve this would be to “tear down” the Mossos d’Esquadra stationed in front of Parliament, “reduce them and put flanges as handcuffs.” Codina also mentioned to him, always according to his statement, that it was “important to get the head of the device to disarm the squad”. Ros and Codina talked about these extremes after the Diada of September 11, in which various people protested in front of Parliament and were evicted by the Mossos. Asked by the agents, Ros said that sometimes, among the members of the group, they became known as the colla de diables (the group of devils)
The name of Quim Torra appears profusely in the summary of the National Court, but also that of his predecessor, Carles Puigdemont. The Civil Guard describes a “secret” meeting of the ERT with the sister of the former president, fleed to Belgium from Spanish justice. The objective was to “deliver sensitive documentation and establish secure communications” between Puigdemont and Torra. The meeting took place inside a “running” car where there was a delivery of “super confidential” material, which the statement does not detail. But they underline the “exceptional” security measures, typical of “criminal organizations”: shuttle vehicles, rear surveillance vehicles, secure telecommunications or broadcasters.