Junqueras on "Operation Catalonia": "They're bunglers, and it causes both laughter and indignation"
A report to which El Periódico had access notes that Superintendent Villarejo had jurisdiction over the independence process and knew "all the players perfectly" to handle this job
BarcelonaIn the face of recent revelations regarding the “dirty war” waged by the administration against the Catalan independence movement ERC President Oriol Junqueras called on supporters of the process to be even more careful and clean. "Our behavior must be spotless so as to avoid any hint that might be picked up by those who want to discredit us", he asked in an interview this Tuesday on El matí de Catalunya Ràdio (1), speaking about the latest information on the so-called Operation Catalonia.
"It's certain that they've investigated us but, despite their efforts, they haven't been able to use that. They couldn't fabricate, imagine or create anything ...", he stressed, in relation to conversations brought to light by Público between Jorge Fernández Díaz and Daniel de Alfonso, which showed that ERC members --even Junqueras' father and brother -- were in the crosshairs. "They're bunglers, and it causes a lot of indignation and some hilarity", he said ironically about the illegal probe into his family.
In any case, he snapped that "in any other democratic country in the world Fernández Díaz would have resigned, and if not him, then Mariano Rajoy, who knew what was going on, according to the recordings". "It's repugnant, disgusting, embarrassing … the farther from them, the better", insisted the ERC leader. Indeed, he stated that these cases provide “all the more reason to decide our future freely". "Why should we have to continue suffering like this?" he concluded.
New evidence of the operation
Indeed, a report that El Periódico had access to this Tuesday confirmed the Interior Minister's moves to block Catalan independence. The document reveals that one of the "responsibilities" of Superintendent José Manuel Villarejo, of the Spain’s Police Force, was to dedicate himself to the "Catalan independence process" because "he knows all of the players perfectly”.
In a statement before a judge in Madrid last week Villarejo revealed that he worked intensely with Marcelino Martín Blas, former head of the Internal Affairs department, to thwart the Catalan independence process. In this way, the police official admitted that in the last few years -- as ARA reported at the end of 2014-- a secret operation had been orchestrated to find cases of corruption that would implicate leaders of pro-independence parties.
Some concrete examples of Operation Catalonia would be the pressure that Martín Blas himself, together with Superintendent José Luis Olivera, applied on anti-corruption prosecutors Fernando Bermejo and Emilio Sánchez Ulled in October 2012 to re-open the Palau case. A report by UDEF —the financial crime unit of the Spanish police— also pointed to Jordi and Oriol Puig, brothers of Felip Puig, while another claimed that Xavier Trias had a bank account in Switzerland, a case that was later dropped.
These revelations arrived after the publication of conversations between Jorge Fernández Díaz, Interior Minister, and Daniel de Alfonso, former director of the Catalan Anti-Fraud Office (OAC).
(1) N.T. This is a popular morning talk show on Catalonia’s public radio.