Political leaders sent to trial

Supreme Court denies defence’s appeals and gives green light for prosecution to present charges against officials over last year’s push for independence

Spain’s Supreme Court is keeping to the script in the prosecution of 25 pro-independence leaders, with the trial due to start in mid-January. As expected, the court yesterday rejected all appeals by the defence to admit new evidence, arguing it would cause unacceptable delays.

As a result, the court confirmed the conclusion of the pre-trial proceedings, clearing the way for the first hearings against much of the Catalan government that organised last year’s push for independence, as well as the two civic leaders, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez.

As is usual, the prosecution —the solicitor general, the public prosecutor and the Vox organisation— now have five days to present their charges and their sentence demands. It will then be the turn of the defence, before the court announces the start of the legal proceedings.

Yesterday’s resolution confirmed the nine defendants accused of rebellion, who have now served a year in pre-trial detention: former vice president, Oriol Junqueras; former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, former foreign minister Raül Romeva, former employment minister Dolors Bassa, former interior minister Quim Forn, former presidency minister Jordi Turull, former territory minister Josep Rull, as well as Cuixart and Sànchez. Also, former ministers Carles Mundó, Meritxell Borràs and Santi Vila, who are charged with misuse of funds and disobedience, while five members of the parliament bureau and former CUP party member Mireia Boya are charged with disobedience.

The controversy over the rebellion charges is ongoing, and the day before yesterday Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, admitted in parliament that there had been no violent uprising needed to justify such a charge.

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