El País photographer arrested during the protests against the sentence of the procés ruling acquitted

The criminal court number 8 of Barcelona has acquitted the photojournalist Albert Garcia, of the newspaper El País judged for allegedly having pushed a national police officer in the protests against the sentence of the October 2019 trial. The magistrate does not see sufficient evidence of this alleged aggression or even a struggle between police and photographer, but a “grip” of the agent to catch the journalist.

Albert Garcia was initially accused of a crime of assault and minor injuries, but the prosecution changed the first of the crimes for resistance and ended up lowering the sentence request – which was initially a year and a half in prison – to a fine of 4,800 euros.

According to the sentence, advanced by the newspaper El País, the magistrate explains that it has been based on the statements of the accused, the injured policeman and other police and journalists, but also of the videos of the moment of the facts. Thus, at least one video denies the police officer’s version that the photojournalist gave him a push.

The judge also doubts the police version because he said he had arrested the journalist himself and that he continued working for a week before he was on sick leave, despite the alleged injuries to his hand caused by the alleged shove. In fact, he did not even see a doctor that day. “The fact of being on leave from work intervening in such a complex and exposed action as that of the riots resulting from the sentence of the procés, with the existing violence, is certainly incompatible with an injury as objectified” by a subsequent medical report, says the sentence.

In one of the videos, the magistrate appreciates how the agent grabbed the journalist by the arm and needed the help of companions to reduce him to the ground. The accused, according to the magistrate, showed a “defensive position”. The alleged push of the journalist to the police was only reported by the victim himself and a colleague of his who said he was on his back, while the videos and other witnesses did not see any of that. For this reason, the magistrate decreed acquittal.

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