23 September 2019

‘Operation Judas’ begins: the Civil Guard, acting on orders from the National High Court, arrests nine people linked to the CDRs


Two members of the CDRs are released the same day, while seven others are taken to pre-trial detention at Soto del Real prison in Madrid on the orders of the investigating judge, Manuel García Castellón. The Prosecutor’s Office charges them with possession of explosives, conspiracy to commit vandalism and belonging to a terrorist organisation. Those arrested in what is called Operation Judas will report coercion, harassment, threats and physical assaults during their detention. In addition, serious violations of the right to defense will take place, including searches without the presence of lawyers, irregular assigning of court-appointed lawyers, difficulties for lawyers to communicate with detainees, and others. Furthermore, despite a gag order and the lawyers’ lack of information about the investigation, the press has access to the Civil Guard’s reports and the judge’s arguments for ordering pre-trial detention, and Spanish media outlets do not respect the presumption of innocence. They accuse the detainess of crimes, describe them as ‘violent’ and claim that they were ‘preparing bombs in anticipation of the verdict in the trial against the independence process’.

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