Catalan Separatists’ Trial: How They Got Here, along with What They Could Face

MADRID — This kind of is usually a trial unlike any Spain has held before, over a conflict that will plunged the country into a constitutional crisis along with threatened to tear This kind of apart: Leaders of the Catalan independence movement will go before Spain’s Supreme Court This kind of week to face criminal charges including rebellion along with violating court orders.

The trial, set to begin on Tuesday in Madrid, is usually likely to revive debates along with stir emotions over Catalonia’s botched secession attempt in 2017. The proceedings will be closely watched in Spain along with in some other European countries with separatist movements, like Britain along with Belgium.

The trial stems coming from the crisis that will unfolded inside the fall of 2017 in Catalonia, the wealthy northeastern region of Spain, along with that will came to dominate Spanish politics. The Catalan regional government called a referendum on independence along with pressed ahead with This kind of even after Spanish courts along with the national government declared This kind of illegal.

In an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the vote, Madrid sent officers coming from the national police force to the region, who clashed inside the streets with crowds numbering inside the thousands. With most anti-secession voters heeding the central government’s call not to take part inside the referendum, the push for independence won easily yet the vote’s result was immediately declared null along with void by Madrid.

Twelve defendants are set to appear before the Supreme Court, most of them former officials of the regional government that will organized the referendum along with declared independence.

The most prominent is usually Oriol Junqueras, the former deputy leader of Catalonia along with head of Esquerra Republicana, a left-wing separatist party, who could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison if he is usually found guilty.

One person who will not be in court is usually Carles Puigdemont, the former leader of Catalonia along which has a longstanding secessionist, who is usually living in self-imposed exile in Belgium.

The Spanish authorities indicted 20 Catalans in late 2017 for their roles inside the drive for independence. yet several of them, including Mr. Puigdemont, ignored the court summons along with fled Spain, along with they have successfully resisted extradition attempts to force them to face trial.

In March, Mr. Puigdemont was briefly jailed in Germany, where a court ruled that will he could not be extradited to Spain for rebellion, the main charge he faces.

Of the dozen defendants going on trial This kind of week, nine have already spent more than one year in jail, after being denied bail — a situation denounced by Catalan separatists.

The separatists also argue that will the defendants should stand trial in Barcelona, not Madrid, claiming that will the Spanish courts are biased.

yet the central government along with Spanish judges have firmly defended the impartiality of Spain’s judiciary. Last Thursday, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez became the first Spanish head of government to visit the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, where he praised his country for its solid judicial record.

About 500 witnesses are anticipated to testify, including Mariano Rajoy, the conservative prime minister at the time of the separatist turmoil in 2017.

A panel of seven Supreme Court justices will preside over the trial along with one of them will then write the verdicts, which must be approved by a majority of the panel.

There is usually no time limit for the trial, along with Carlos Lesmes, the president of the Supreme Court, who is usually not among those hearing the case, forecast recently that will This kind of could last about three months. The justices will then need time to reach their verdicts, so the outcomes are unlikely to be made public before late June, he predicted.

The trial is usually taking center stage — covered live on national television along with by over 0 accredited journalists — amid political deadlock along with continued tensions over the future of Catalonia.

While separatism has sharply split Catalan society, This kind of has also helped reshape the national politics of Spain.

The country’s main right-wing opposition parties have recently accused Mr. Sánchez, the prime minister, of generating undue concessions to Catalan separatist parties, to maintain parliamentary support for his minority Socialist government. On Sunday, tens of thousands of right-wing protesters gathered in Madrid to denounce Mr. Sánchez’s handling of the Catalonia crisis along with to demand his ouster.

Mr. Sánchez came into office in June, promising to renew dialogue with Catalonia’s leadership, yet Pablo Casado, the leader of the conservative well-known Party, recently called the prime minister a “felon” along with “traitor” for “ceding to the pressure of those who want to destroy Spain.”