Misc 12/11/2020

"I haven't set foot on the Rambla again out of fear and panic"

A victim of the Barcelona attack testifies at the third session of the trial

Pau Esparch
2 min

BarcelonaThe third session of the Rambla Terror Attacks trial was scheduled for this Thursday, when some of the victims were to testify. The order for the interventions was altered at the request of the judge and because one of the victims was nervous about waiting. Her story could be heard, but she did not show herself. In tears, she has recalled the traumatic events of 17 August 2017 when she left the hotel where she worked to return home.

She was walking with a friend and they were at the top of the Rambla, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, when the van accelerated: "I didn't realise it was coming towards the pedestrians waiting to cross. I didn't react. I grabbed my friend by the arm but the van had already hit her with the wing mirror. We fell to the ground and people started stepping on us because they wanted to get out of there. There were people all around me on the ground. When I got up, I saw the van still going straight, zigzagging and running over pedestrians on the Rambla.

"I was in shock. I grabbed my friend, who had a swollen forehead. I took her to a shop on the corner of the Rambla where they put most of the injured people. They immediately took me to the health centre in Sant Martí, where they checked my leg and hand, which they bandaged," she added. Regarding the consequences of the attack, she explained that until February 2018 she was on sick leave and could not leave her house: "I panicked just going out. I didn't want to see anyone. That a person could have done so much evil... My life changed a lot". In fact, she has revealed that he has not yet been able to go back to the site of the terrorist attack. "I haven't set foot on the Rambla again because of the fear and panic of what happened to me. I'm still on medication. I know it's in me and by coming here [to the trial] I have revived it," she added.

The other victims were waiting in a specially equipped room in the Audiencia Nacional for their turn to testify. Not all of the witnesses who had been scheduled to testify on the two preceding days had been able to do so, causing a backlog. Nevertheless, Judge Alfonso Guevara has kept to the schedule. This has meant that this morning more than a dozen Mossos d'Esquadra, two civil guards, two of those arrested on 18 August and later released later waited to testify.

Clash between the judge and Alonso-Cuevillas

This third session of the trial has also seen a clash between Judge Guevara and the lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, who represents the private prosecution of the parents of the child of Rubi who died in the Rambla. When Guevara prevented Alonso-Cuevillas from asking more questions to a Mosso d'Esquadra, the lawyer replied: "I protest and thank you for your kindness". This last comment angered the judge, who said, "This is not the place for irony. I warn you. I think I have not disrespected anyone. I was asked to louder. But this is not the way to answer me. Not me personally, but what I am representing. Whether or not it is now fashionable to respect institutions, here they are respected.

In fact, Guevara has warned that he "reserves the right to inform the Bar Association" of Alonso-Cuevillas' attitude.