Spanish prosecutor calls for prison sentences of up to 25 years for Catalan independence leaders
The former Vice-president of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, faces twenty-five years in prison. This was requested by the prosecution on Friday in the case against the Catalan separatist, for “aggravated rebellion with embezzlement of public funds”, a year after the illegal independence referendum. Eighteen regional leaders are waiting to be judged by the Spanish Supreme Court for their role in the October 2017 secession attempt.
The Attorney General also asked for seventeen-year prison sentence for former regional parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart as the leaders of independence associations. Already in pretrial detention, they are accused of rebellion, but without embezzlement.
The lawyer for the Spanish State, who is part of the Ministry of Justice, has requested maximum sentences of 12 years in prison and dismissed the offense of “rebellion” in favor of that of “sedition”, which does not involve violent uprising.
According to the public prosecutor, “the secessionist plan [of the Catalan leaders] envisaged the use of all means necessary to achieve their objective, including – since they were certain that the state would not accept the situation – the violence necessary to ensure the intended criminal result.”
The use of violence during the independence process in Catalonia is, however, disputed in Spain, far beyond the independence camp, by a wide range of witnesses, as well as eminent jurists.
The other former government advisers to Carles Puigdemont, exiled in Belgium, are at risk of seven years or sixteen years of imprisonment. six others will be tried for “gross disobedience” and face a fine for expenses incurred to organise the prohibited referendum on 1 st October 2017.
The date of the trial has not been fixed yet, but its opening is expected in early 2019.