Newspaper editor charged with accessory to referendum related ‘crimes’
Spain’s Guardia Civil raids newsroom in southern Catalonia, seizing computer and documents
The director of the weekly newspaper El Vallenc, Francesc Fàbregas, has been formally accused of being an accessory to alleged crimes related to the October 1 referendum preparations. Spain’s Guardia Civil security force summoned him on Saturday evening, after raiding El Vallenc’s newsroom in Valls, southern Catalonia. Agents spent five hours searching for evidence showing that El Vallenc had been helping with referendum preparations, such as printing ballots or other paperwork. They ultimately left with a computer and some documents.
Fàbregas used his right to silence in the Guardia Civil’s Tarragona headquarters. He left after 30 minutes, and he will be summoned by a judge, presumably in the near future. His lawyer explained that he has been officially charged with accessory to the referendum related “crimes” with which the Catalan government is charged. Catalonia’s attorney general, itself a branch of the Spanish one, presented on Friday lawsuits in Catalonia’s high court against all cabinet members. These lawsuits accused the individuals of perversion of justice, disobedience and misuse of public funds.
Citizens in the Valls area reacted spontaneously to the Guardia Civil’s raid on Saturday, with a demonstration against the raid in front of agents guarding El Vallenc’s entrance. Some derisive chants to the officers were heard, such as “Where are the ballots?”. They also chanted “We will vote” and “I am not afraid”. Additionally, they held a symbolic vote with a ballot box, right in front of the agents.