FORMER Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is said to have told a police chief that he would be ready to declare independence if the 2017 referendum led to “incidents”.

Ferran López, who was then second in command of the Catalan police, Mossos d’Esquadra, told the trial of 12 independence leaders in Spain’s Supreme Court that Puigdemont had said two days before the poll that he would make the declaration in the event of any violence during it.

Lopez, who was then No 2 to Josep Lluís Trapero, told the court: “I remember that Mr Puigdemont said that if this scenario was produced ... he would declare independence … I think it’s a phrase that we all remember perfectly, because it’s hard to forget.”

He said the police had received an instruction from the Constitutional Court to halt the referendum and were set to obey it.

READ MORE: Catalonia just declared independence

“The Mossos were willing to comply with the judicial mandate, in a situation that, for us, was anomalous, that we had a minister [Joaquim Forn – one of those on trial] who was steering in the opposite direction,” he said.

However, Lopez said that despite his public pronouncements, Forn – who was then in charge of the Mossos as home affairs minister – never gave them any political instruction.

He added: “The Catalan police never collaborated either in the preparation or in the execution of the referendum.”

López said Mossos officers were deployed in 2300 polling stations on the day of the vote, from where they seized 423 ballot boxes, 90,000 ballot papers, and 60,000 envelopes.

He dismissed claims that the force had failed to support the thousands of Spanish police drafted into Catalonia and, instead, accused them of not sharing information and not taking part in a planned co-ordinated operation on polling day.

Meanwhile, 11 Catalan mayors from areas that witnessed Spanish police violence during the poll, criticised the “lies” they said officers have told during the trial.

At a showing of The Truth about October 1, which included a video compilation of police kicking and punching voters and beating them with riot batons, Joan Badia, mayor of Callús, who is seen being shoved around by an officer, said: “What hurts the most are the lies.”

President of organisers, the Catalan Association of Municipalities, and mayor of Sallent, David Saldoni, added: “Images speak a thousand words, and that’s surely why they don’t allow the videos to be shown in the trial.”