Catalan leaders given lengthy terms over independence bid
Published: 06:27 PM, 14 October 2019 Updated: 06:29 PM, 14 October 2019
Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders for sedition in their role in the region’s 2017 failed bid for independence; Photo: Collected
Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders between 9 to 13 years in prison for sedition in their role in the region’s 2017 failed bid for independence.
The three other defendants were found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison. All defendants were acquitted of the most severe charge — rebellion.
The region’s former vice-president Oriol Junqueras was convicted of sedition and misuse of public funds by Spain’s Supreme Court, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was also banned from holding public office for 13 years.
The former Catalan foreign minister Raül Romeva was convicted of the same offense and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and handed a 12-year ban on holding office, as were the former regional government spokesman Jordi Turull and the former labor minister Dolors Bassa.
Carme Forcadell, the former speaker of the Catalan parliament, was sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison, while the former Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn and former territorial minister Josep Rull got 10 and a half years each.
Two influential pro-independence grassroots activists, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, were found guilty of sedition and given nine-year sentences.
Three other independence leaders were found guilty of disobedience and handed fines and bans on holding office.
The charges all relate to the independence referendum held in Catalonia on October 1, 2017. The vote was declared illegal by the Spanish government, which moved immediately to punish those involved.
The former head of Catalonia’s regional government Carles Puigdemont classified the prison sentences as an “atrocity”.
“It is time to react ... for the future of our sons and daughters. For democracy. For Europe. For Catalonia,” he said on Twitter.
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