Police seize pistol from military officer at Spanish amnesty protest

Police seize pistol from military officer at Spanish amnesty protest
Police seize pistol from military officer at Spanish amnesty protest

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A Spanish flag flies as people take part in a protest after Spain's socialists reached a deal with the Catalan separatist Junts party for government support, which includes amnesties for people involved with Catalonia's failed 2017 independence bid, at Cibeles Square in Madrid, Spain November 18, 2023. — Reuters pic

MADRID, Nov 19 — A Spanish military officer was arrested with a pistol at a demonstration against an amnesty law which will benefit Catalan separatists involved in a failed 2017 bid for independence, police said today.

The second-lieutenant, who is based at the Zaragoza Military Academy training base, was arrested during a police check at the demonstration outside the Socialist party headquarters last night, police sources told Reuters.

About 1,500 people took part in the demonstration, the 16th consecutive protest outside the Socialists’ headquarters. Six people were arrested including the military officer.

During the protests there have been clashes between police and protesters but no weapons have been discovered until now.

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El Confidencial, a Spanish news site, reported today that the officer had a private weapon that was not a pistol used for military purposes.

He was not charged but could face a fine of up to €30,000 (RM153,036) if convicted of illegal possession of weapons.

Earlier the same day, about 170,000 people marched through Madrid yesterday in the largest protest yet against an amnesty law which Spain’s Socialists agreed to over Catalonia’s 2017 separatist bid in return for support in forming a government.

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The demonstrations took place two days after Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez won a four-year term with the backing of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties in return for agreeing to the law.

The independence referendum was declared illegal by the courts and resulted in Spain’s worst political crisis for decades.

Sanchez has defended the law saying an amnesty would help to defuse tensions in Catalonia. — Reuters

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