The duty judge in the central Catalan town of Solsona has released four residents of Osona county who were arrested by Spanish National Police on Saturday accused of wanting to spill engine oil on the C-55 highway with the aim of sabotaging the passage of the third stage of the Spanish multi-stage cycle race La Vuelta, as it passed through Catalonia.
The four arrested, reported to be pro-independence supporters linked to left-wing groups, and residents of the towns of Centelles, Tavernoles, Calldetenes and Vic, were forbidden by the judge from going within 500 metres of roads along which the cycle race was to pass as it goes through Catalonia.
This Monday, the third stage of the race has taken place, leaving from Súria in central Catalonia to arrive at Arinsal, in Andorra, and tomorrow the competition will pass through Catalonia again in the opposite direction: this time starting from Andorra la Vella, to head south to a finish in Tarragona. If the four arrested are identified near the roads through which La Vuelta will pass, they could be arrested again and charged with breaching the court order.
The four people were located by the Spanish police force with two 200-litre drums of oil that they allegedly been planning to use to disrupt the cycle race as it passed along a stretch of the C-55 highway, between Súria and Solsona, this Monday. Overnight between Saturday and Sunday, the Spanish police travelled with the four arrested people to Osona and searched their homes, confiscating computers and hard drives.
Defending them in the court this Monday morning in Solsona, the lawyer Eva Pous of the Alerta Solidària legal aid group complained that she had been given no information about the case nor what evidence the Spanish police had against the four arrested pro-independence activists. The Catalan High Court (TSJC) has confirmed this afternoon that the four arrested are accused of crimes of being part of a criminal group, public disorder and environmental offences, for the hypothetical spillage of engine oil that they were supposedly planning.
This Monday evening a protest was planned in front of the Vic town hall, called by support groups and the Vic branch of the CUP political party. The pro-independence left asserts that these police actions were “preventive” arrests in order to dissuade any protesters against the passage of what they called the “colonialist” Vuelta through Catalonia.
Produced in association with El Nacional En
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