– Wednesday, 11/13/2019 | Updated 11/15/2019 – 10:30
Carles Puigdemont explored on October 25 and 26, 2017, a plan to seek Russian and Chinese support for the unilateral declaration of independence (DUI) that the Parliament would approve the following day, October 27. The then president of the Generalidad exchanged during these two days several whatsapps in this regard with Víctor Terradellas, former head of International Relations of Convergencia (CDC) and at that time president of the nationalist foundation Catmón. In the exchange of messages also participated a Miquel, whose identity is trying to clarify the Civil Guard.
“At 5, the emissary of Putin was coming”, Terradellas wrote to
Puigdemont on the 26th in a message EL
PERIÓDICO had access to. The judge of Barcelona Joaquin Aguirre is
investigating a Russian plot within the prosecution opened for alleged
embezzlement of funds and other crimes in the Diputación de Barcelona and the
Secretary for Sports of the Generalidad. This
Tuesday the judge has ordered four arrests added to the arrest of Terradellas
and another twenty people in May 2018.
On October 25, 2017, meetings were held in the Palau de la Generalitat. The nerves are in full bloom. Puigdemont doubts between calling regional elections or opting for the unilateral declaration of independence. At 10.05 hours, the ‘president’ receives a whatsap from Terradellas’s phone, who a few weeks earlier, in September, had traveled to Moscow. “‘President’, I am Miquel. We, Victor and myself, are meeting with those people. In 24 hours they will answer us. They will also look at: 1. that China also says its own thing. 2. that on Friday, before doing anything, do videoconferencing with PU”.
The acronym of the Russian president
The police stated in a report incorporated into the proceedings that ‘PU’, “due to the context of the conversation, could be a grammatical error, alluding to making a videoconference with Putin, as reflected repeatedly in the same conversation”. Regarding China, according to the documentation found by another court investigating the preparations for the unilateral referendum of 1-O, the Generalidad had planned to present Catalonia as an independent state before the Chinese Government, with which it negotiated a loan in parallel of up to 11,000 million Euros for the independent central bank of Catalonia that never came true.
That day Puigdemont did not respond to the message sent by Miquel from Terradellas’s phone. The next day, October 26, at 10.44 am, when everything indicated that Puigdemont had decided to resign from the DUI and call regional elections (although later the final decision was the opposite) Terradellas complains to the ‘president’ of his silence: ” I’m sorry. You haven’t even heard us, I think we deserved it. Everything was going ahead and I think we could have rushed to the last moment, too bad”. On this occasion, Puigdemont does answer: “I had no margin at all. And the scenario was devastating for Catalonia. I’m sorry. I know it is neither easy nor pleasant to accept, but I had no conviction that we were going to leave [sic]”.
Terradellas insists: “They had guaranteed us a statement this afternoon. Gorbachov[sic]
. Money from the Chinese side. We asked you to hurry. At 5 o’clock the
emissary of Putin was coming. We are at the palace gate. You must receive us.
You will receive us. Delay. and give us time”. Puigdemont replies briefly:
“I have to appear now”. The ‘president’ had planned to address the
Catalans at 1:30 p.m., although the appointment was delayed until 2:30 p.m.
and, delayed again, it was not held until the afternoon of that day.
The meeting in the Palau
Terradellas does not give up. He insists: “Well, you delay it and we talk. We are Carles, Miquel and myself. At 50 meters from the Palau [of the Generalidad]. We go to Canonges [the official residence of the President of the Generalidad, next to the Palau]”. Puigdemont agrees: “Come in through Canonges”. A few hours later, already in the afternoon, Puigdemont announces his decision: he will not call for regional elections and leaves the unilateral declaration of independence in the hands of the Parliament.
following day, October 27, the Catalan Parliament approved the DUI by 70 votes
in favor, 10 against, two blank votes and the absence of 52 constitutional MCPs
as a protest measure. The Senate immediately approved the application of
article 155 of the Constitution and the central government intervened the
powers of the Generalidad. Puigdemont and his ‘consellers’ were dismissed; the
Parliament, dissolved, and the Catalans, summoned to the autonomous urns.
On October 29, Puigdemont flees to Belgium from his home in Girona. They are followed by some ‘consellers’. Terradellas, apparently, should not know anything about the departure of the already ‘ex-president’, because at 9:27 in the morning he writes another whatsap: “Dear President. After your speech yesterday, now it’s time to play and win the game of the legitimacies: demonstrate our sense of state and control of the political moment (….) We must follow this path and we must maintain leadership and command. Tomorrow in Palau the Spanish flag should be lowered and the building armored with a peaceful call to the population It is necessary that you list [sic] again the major Trapero and order the Mossos to be there, and so we will also know their level of loyalty (many will be loyal to you and Trapero)”. Puigdemont did not answer.
The delator phone
messages were discovered in one of the mobile phones used by Terradellas and
seized at the headquarters of Catmón, on Fonollar Street in Barcelona, in the
police search ordered by Judge Aguirre on May 24, 2018. Many other whatsaps
evidence the narrow relations that Terradellas maintained with prominent MCPs
and leaders of the extinct CDC, the PDECat, ERC, the CUP and the ANC.
In that search, the National Police, which was later relieved in the investigations by the Civil Guard by decision of the judge, found documents that point to a Russian plot linked to the ‘procés‘. One of the most prominent is “a manuscript draft of a letter”, according to the police, whose addressee could be Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, the ultra leader of the Democratic Liberal Party of Russia and whom the investigators place as a possible mediator of Putin. The writing, in Catalan, is headed with a “Dear Vladimir Volfovich. We know of your great stand in defense of democratic rights and we invite you tomorrow to attend the session of the Parliament where the Republic of Catalonia is declared, where right now a large part of the rights are intervened [sic]”. It is unknown if that message was received or not by the Russian politician, who has declared himself publicly in favor of the independence of Catalonia. Other confiscated documents include the name of Putin.