Some light on the investigation that led to the imprisonment of the comrade arrested on the 13th of April

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 22/07/2016 07:12:45

Wanneer: 22/07/2016 - 11:53

On the 13th of April, with a brief press release spread by the Mossos d'Esquadra, the policial operation was announced in which the comrade currently imprisoned in Cologne (Germany) was arrested in Barcelona, on accusation of having expropriated a bank in the city of Aachen.

According to this press release, the operation responded to compliance with an international request sent out by the prosecution office of Aachen that two days before the operation had issued an arrest warrant for the militant anarchist in Barcelona. What the press release did not explain and which until now had not been known to the public is that the arrest and the house raids carried out by the cops in the neighbourhoods Gracia and Carmel in Barcelona were not the simple execution of an international request, but the culmination of a long and narrow collaboration between the policial and judicial forces of the German and Spanish states, with active participation of the autonomous Catalan police. The involvement of the Mossos d'Esquadra in the case was initiated long before April and, as has become obvious, went far beyond a passive and merely executory role.

An ordinary morning in Aachen

On the morning of the 14th November 2014 a group of armed people enters an office of the Pax Bank in the Westphalian city of Aachen, in the east of the country. After having emptied the heavy safe and tying up the employees of the bank, they leave the building without having caused any personal injuries or damage. During the two days that follow, the police responsible for the investigation, the Landeskriminalamt Nordrhein-Westfalen (LKA NRW), will connect this expropriation with two other attacks that occurred in the previous two years in the city (1) and will begin an authentic – and fruitless – mediatic campaign of denunciation, publicly spreading the details of the robberies and offering rewards of thousands of euros to anyone who could provide information about possible suspects. The LKA goes so far in this strategy that it decides to use a famous and deplorable TV program in its campaign, which is broadcasted on one of the country's main channels: Aktenzeichen XY... Ungelöst (Case File XY... Unsolved). This is a reality show with a vigilante character, in which cases that the police were unable to solve are presented in a sick manner, showing CCTV footage, clothes found on the “crime” scenes, composite sketches, and dramatic reconstructions of the deeds in order to impress and incite the masses of spectators to help the forces of the State and snitch.

The wig, the glove and the can

Four months after the action, in March 2015, the investigation will adopt a new direction with the appearance of the Catalan police on the scene. They will sent information to Germany, in response to the international request the LKA had sent out containing profiles of DNA samples (2) that supposedly were found on the scene, to see if there are any matches in the databases of other States. According to the Mossos, the profile of a sample taken from a wig found in the proximity of the Pax Bank in Aachen in November matches with an entry in their DNA database, a trace taken from a glove that was found in the street after a political direct action that took place in the neighbourhood of Sants in Barcelona in June 2009. From this moment a shared investigation begins in which the police forces of both States share information and start an intensive investigation within what the German press has called “the extreme left squatter movement of Barcelona” and which, according to the thesis exposed to the media by the prosecutor and police of Aachen, has been the main stage of the investigation.

In the course of this investigation, and always according to the version of the cops, toward the end of June agents of the information division of the Mossos secretly confiscate an empty can of beer left on the street by the accused comrade. From this can they would have taken DNA samples in order to realise a direct comparison with the traces of genetic material found close to the Pax Bank after the expropriation. Four months later, toward the end of October, information from the biological laboratories of the Mossos would have confirmed the match between both samples. Nevertheless, almost six more months will pass before on the 12th of April of this year an European arrest warrant and extradition order with her name will be sent from Aachen, resulting in the arrest in her house in the neighbourhood of Carmel the following day.

Repression and social control: the DNA of the States

The policial process that resulted in this arrest therefore confirms that which many of us already suspected, namely that the Mossos d'Esquadra since years have been massively and systematically confiscating our DNA during actions, mobilisations, house raids and protests in order to build a database with genetic data that increases the control over antagonistic movements. That which initially was introduced as an exceptional means, arguing the necessity of protecting oneself against repeat sexual offenders and similar cases, is being used and normalised as a repressive technology in service of the persecution of political militants.

In the Spanish State this policial modus operandi has been experimented with by the autonomous Basque police (Ertzaintza) in the repression of the patriotic left and the struggles of Euskal Herria. Just like the newspaper Gara already pointed out in 2007, the Ertzaintza started to build a database with genetic data by confiscating cigarette butts and glasses during street celebrations, toothbrushes during house raids, or plastic nozzles used in fake controls with breathalysers. The problems of reliability and validity that experts have attributed to using DNA methods as evidence did not prevent the autonomous Basque police to initiate judicial processes based on genetic profiles as the only proof, processes that with the priceless help of the exception courts of the Spanish Audiencia Nacional often have resulted in huge prison sentences for the accused.

On a European level, the use of genetic technologies in the policial and judicial scope has only increased since at the end of the '80s Interpol imported the strategy of creating databases aimed at the identification of persons through DNA profiles from the United States. Despite the differences in the socio-political and judicial context in every place, the general shared tendency on an international level is the exponential growth of personal information registered in these databases and the progressive elimination of legal restrictions that limit the introduction of and persecution with new samples. The policial use of genetic technologies has drastically increased in the entire European Union, and the criteria for allowing its use are weaker every time. Therefore we find ourselves facing an enormous qualitative leap, this time not in the repressive methods directed at dissident minorities, but in the capacity of the States of social control of the entire population. In front of this challenge, as enemies of the status quo we will need to decide between letting ourselves be intimidated by the control mechanisms of Power, or creating adequate political strategies and practices to confront it, knowing that the hypothesis of a totally controlled society is only that; the unrealisable dark fantasy of a logic of domination that will always encounter resistance.


(1) Let's not forget that recently a comrade was arrested again in Amsterdam, who is accused of having participated in one of these expropriations, more specifically the one that took place in July 2013. [TN: She has been released with conditions and is currently awaiting her extradition case in the Netherlands]

(2) Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a chemical component of cell nucleus that contains the genetic information which is transmitted in a hereditary manner in living organisms. This acid is found in all animal cells – human and non-human –, plants and other organisms, except in red blood cells. DNA is used in various methods (biogenetic, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, etc.), but what this text is concerned with is the so-called “forensic”, used in policial, judicial and penal contexts. In these cases DNA is used that is extracted from hair, saliva or blood, resulting in what is called a genetic fingerprint or “DNA profile”. The various sequences of this fingerprint of profile is what establishes a difference between people, as if it were a “human bar code”.

[translated from catalan]


Zie ook eerder:

Over de arrestatie van een anarchiste in Barcelona op verdenking van onteigeningen in Duitsland,
Update on Aachen repression,
Call for solidarity with our comrade imprisoned in Soto del Real Madrid, who is currently facing extradition,
CALL OUT for extending the solidarity with the imprisoned comrade in Soto del Real, facing extradition,
Letter from comrade facing extradition [BCN],
[Spanish prisons] Retaliations against comrade accused of expropriation,
Manifestation at Soto del Real prison [Madrid],
Solidarity actions in The Hague with comrade imprisoned in Spain on charges of expropriation,
[Spain] The extradition process has begun!,
(am*dam) solidariteit met de anarchisten beschuldigd van bankoverval,

Anarchist comrade arrested 6-7-2016,
Solidariteitsdemonstratie in Amsterdam met gearresteerde kameraad beschuldigd van bankonteigening,
ATM machines demolished in solidarity with comrades accused of expropriation ,
Update on the arrest of 6JULY,
14/7 solidarity demonstration with 6 juli comrade,
6 juli comrade released,
[Thessaloniki] Solidarity with the anarchist comrades accused of bank robbery in Germany, .


Enkele aantekeningen over media en repressie/A few notes on media and repression, .


Another comrade of Barcelona in prison for the case of bank expropriations in Germany

Tuesday, June 21 at dawn, the Mossos d’Esquadra Corps kicked down the door of the house of an anarchist comrade of Barcelona, where he lived with his companion and other housemates. All were awakened by guns pointed on them and were handcuffed for hours while police raided and devastated the home, located in the neighbourhood del Eixample. Eventually, the comrade was arrested and transferred to Madrid, where the National Court ordered his detention on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by the prosecutor of Aachen, accusing him of having participated in the expropriation of a branch of Pax Bank that took place in November 2014.

It is for this same action that the comrade arrested on April 13 in Carmel is also in prison. In this case, however, the police decided not to use the staging and media spectacle it had used during the April operation, not issuing any press release and not notifying the media of the operation.

According to what we have been able to find out, the arrest warrant is based on the supposed coincidence between a trace of genetic material found in the Pax Bank in Aachen and a DNA sample that Mossos had taken from the comrade, simulating a BAC control for alcohol. During this false control, the police got him to blow into a breathalyzer and kept the plastic tip to extract the genetic profile of the comrade from the remaining saliva.

After a relatively brief imprisonment in the Madrid Soto de Real prison, the comrade was transferred to the prison of Aachen – in the Land of North Rhine – Westphalia (in West Germany) – where he is in conditions similar to those of the comrade arrested in April: one hour’s air a day, held in the remand building, only a few hours visit a month, unable to call those close to him and control of all communications. The visiting format is particularly degrading; visits take place in the presence of two police officers from the unit conducting the investigation and an interpreter who translates the conversation simultaneously.

However, this is not the first time that the comrade has faced the challenges of punishment and the prison institution. His current detention adds itself to a previous sentence of over 10 years served in Portugal – where he is from -, during which he was noted for his denunciation of abuse and violation of prisoners’ rights, for participating in hunger strikes, organizing with other prisoners to improve their living conditions, urging them to abandon the drugs with which the institution makes the enclosed population submit and personally creating a large libertarian library to promote awareness and the political formation of the prisoners, a continuation of the work as bookseller that he had developed before entering prison. His combative attitude and his solidarity put him in the firing line of the prison administration and finally he was judged as one of the 25 accused in the well known mutiny of Caixas*. Once outside, the comrade moved to Barcelona, where he has often been seen participating in meetings, street demonstrations and activities of the libertarian movement.

Today, along with the comrade arrested in April, he faces the upcoming trial where he will be judged for his alleged involvement in the November 2014 bank expropriation.

We point out that with him three people are already implicated in what the German police describe as a “series of robberies” that took place in Aachen between 2012 and 2014, counting the Dutch comrade who is on provisional release pending trial in September. There it will be decided whether she should be re-extradited to Germany, where she has already served several months of preventive prison, accused of having carried out an expropriation in 2013.

We send all our strength and our solidarity, our respect and our support to who is being prosecuted in the name of the capitalist order and its foundations: exploitation between equals and the submission of the whole of life, social relations and territories to the blind logic of profit, the conversion of money into more money, and the enrichment of some on the impoverishment of all the others.

Freedom for the persons accused of expropriating banks in Germany! Freedom for all persons in struggle incarcerated and accused!

(*) In this mutiny, which occurred in March 1996, the growing wave of struggles by prisoners in the Portuguese prisons throughout the 90s reached a climax, giving rise to a generalised movement of protest in the Caixas penitentiary, one of the most overcrowded in Portugal where the non-respect of rights that continued after the overthrow of the dictatorship was the most obvious. The protest movement that demanded as a minimum the application of these constitutional rights, was stifled by savage beatings against the 180 hungerstrikers who participated in the mobilization.


[Translated by Cettesemaine from Spanish from solidaritatrebel, 2016/08/18]


[Update] Uitleveringszaak van anarchiste beschuldigd van een bankoverval in Aken, .


The above comment as a separate posting:

Another comrade of Barcelona in prison for the case of bank expropriations in Germany, .


extradition approved for amsterdam comrade prosecuted by aachen court, .

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