The witnesses of the police intervention during the state of alarm in a flat on Lagasca street, in the Salamanca district of Madrid, in which six agents acceded to force with a battering ram to dissolve an illegal party, have declared before the substitute judge of the case that nobody wanted to open the door and that the police were looking for drugs, contrary to the version of the agents.
The judge sees “solid indications” against the policemen of the ‘kick in the door’ and asks that they go to trial
The substitute judge for Jaime Serret, at the head of the Court of Instruction number 28 of Madrid, has questioned almost a dozen witnesses of the events that occurred at five in the morning of March 21 in a house located at number 18 of the Lagasca street. The police operation went viral through a video in which the agents were seen breaking down the door with a battering ram.
After accessing the house, the 15 people who were inside were identified and nine of them were arrested for a crime of serious disobedience to authority, although that complaint was unsuccessful. On the other hand, the criminal investigation was initiated against the six agents, accused of the alleged commission of a crime of trespassing at the request of a complaint from the tenant of the house and by order of the Provincial Court of Madrid before the “disproportionate use ” of the strength.
On October 14, the investigating judge agreed to file the case with respect to five of the six agents, keeping only the accusation against the sub-inspector at the hand of the operation. The tenant, through his lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina, challenged the file before the Provincial Court of Madrid, which has to rule on the matter.
Before the judge and the prosecutor, this morning several witnesses have paraded, among them the landlord of the house. The owner has confirmed that it was not a tourist apartment, but that there was a long-term rental contract, contrary to what the prosecutor maintains to try to give legitimacy to the police intervention, according to the accusation. The people who were inside the house in question that morning have also appeared. In their statement, the agents stated that several of them wanted to open the door but that others stopped them.
This version clashes with that offered by the appearing parties, who have denounced having suffered alleged coercion at the hands of the agents who even searched them for drugs.
“The police broke down the door. They told us that if we said we wanted to open, they would let us go. They told us that if we said we did not want to open, they would take us into custody for a crime disobedience to authority. They were looking for drugs. They searched us and searched the purse, it was very degrading, “said one of the young women who lived through the episode.
Witnesses have stated that they were summoned to enter with a court order. However, the officers banged on the door for almost 30 minutes and finally gave in to force. “They interrogated us one by one. I would have liked to open the door. I did not do it because I did not want to be arrested. Nobody wanted to open the door before they threw it away,” said another young woman.
The tenant’s lawyer has complained that the prosecutor’s questioning is focused on proving that the house was a tourist apartment, an extreme that is not corroborated by “the documentary evidence provided, the rental contracts, the rent payments and the own testimony of the owner of the property that proves that the apartment was a long-term apartment “.
“Even so, if it were a tourist apartment, the jurisprudence would guarantee that it is a dwelling. It is very sad that in the face of such serious events, the Prosecutor’s Office, instead of looking for the qualification of the agents and their knowledge in criminal law in order to seek if the entry was made knowing its illegality, it continues to seek exculpation for the denounced agents, something unprecedented in a Prosecutor’s Office that maintains the accusation in most of its cases, “he asserted.
The owner of the apartment has explained that they rented the property to the tenant in search of a one-year rental. Due to what happened on March 21, they lost the tenant. The tenant had to leave after a few months due to media harassment. They had damage to the home, damage to the door, and they lost their rent.
For now, only the sub-inspector of the National Police in charge of the operation that took place that morning is being investigated. The case will be judged by the Popular Jury procedure. At a hearing held on October 8 to request evidence, the parties requested a battery of proceedings to be carried out.