The Supreme Court has begun trying the Catalan leaders behind the 2017 independence bid. It is a political lawsuit that grew out of the widespread demand on politicians to provide ballot boxes so that, according to some polls, 80% of the country could have its say.
In the dock are former members of the Catalan government: Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull, Quim Forn, Dolors Bassa, Meritxell Borràs, Carles Mundó and Santi Vila, as well as the civil leaders, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, along with the former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell.
Later in the year, Spain’s National Court will try former heads of the Mossos d’Esquadra police, accused of not doing enough to stop the October 1 independence referendum. Also in court will be former members of the parliamentary bureau and political parties for having allowed votes on the independence issue in the chamber. Meanwhile, former MPs and government members are in exile (Carles Puigdemont, Clara Ponsatí, Meritxell Serret, Toni Comín, Lluís Puig, Marta Rovira and Anna Gabriel).
While the defence warns that the cases will likely end up in the European Court of Human Rights, due to irregularities and infringements by the prosecution, the trial in the Supreme Court is also an opportunity for the leaders to tell their side of the story and condemn the actions of the State.