ACCUSATIONS against Catalan pro-independence figures are based on “exaggerations and some lies”, creating background noise to hide the fact that there was no evidence against them, according to one of their defence lawyers.

Andreu Van den Eynde, who represents former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras and Raul Romeva, a former minister, was giving the first summing up for the defence in the trial, which has been sitting in Madrid for four months.

Van den Eynde (pictured below) said prosecutors had to conceal that fact they had no valid evidence for their narrative, and used words that do not correspond to what really happened: “Everything is exaggeration and noise, and that noise is shared and manifested in the vocabulary,” he said.

“I have pointed out during the whole trial ‘they were entrenched, with human shields, shot, had an arsenal, looks of hate, harassment, devastation’.”

The National:

He went on to define devastation: “Ruining or completely destroying a territory without leaving anything right. This is devastating. We have two broken cars, and they talk about the apocalypse.”

Van den Eynde said this “bias and exaggeration” removed all credibility from the charges.

He added that pro-indy support would not die away: “This trial is an opportunity, it is very nice, partly because it is a formula to reach the moment to overcome a crisis. We have an opportunity, because the policy will not disappear. People, in the face of the blockade of the negotiations, will not stop protesting … and we must return to politics.

“What I say to you is that we are here, with an extended hand, to solve this conflict.”

The lawyer said the importance of the case could not be underestimated – it would set a legal precedent.

“This case will generate, let us not be deceived, the criminal code applicable to political dissidence. This is not a pejorative term, it is reality. Here is the answer to how political action is exercised in a project such as my clients, and will explain what criminal response should be given to a proposal in a parliament made by inviolable deputies.”

Van den Eynde said the charges had confused the most serious allegation of rebellion with the much lesser crime of disobedience.

Former interior minister Joaquim Forn yesterday received permission to take his seat as a councillor in Barcelona’s city hall.

His lawyer, Xavier Melero, told the trial that despite the Catalan parliament passing a resolution to “constitute the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state”, the chamber did not implement it before it was dissolved. He said: “The Catalan government breached its own declaration of independence and instead made provisions for the application of Article 155 [the suspension of self-rule in Catalonia].”

By relinquishing control, “as soon as home rule was suspended” proved that the parliament had “abandoned power” rather than acting on the declaration, meaning the declaration effectively never happened.