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Monday, 14 October 2019

Catalonia leader jailed for 13 years over independence referendum

Spain's supreme court has sentenced Catalonia's former deputy leader to 13 years in prison over his role in a banned 2017 independence referendum.


Oriol Junqueras, the region's former vice president, was found guilty of misuse of public funds and sedition, implying he promoted public disorder to subvert the law.
Another eight separatist leaders, out of 12 on trial, were also found guilty of sedition and have been jailed for between nine and 13 years.
The three other defendants, former Catalan Cabinet members Santiago Vila, Meritxell Borras and Carles Mundo, were fined for disobedience but not imprisoned.
In 2017 the group attempted to break Catalonia away from Spain following an independence referendum deemed illegal by Spain's supreme court.
Prosecutors had requested convictions for the more severe crime of rebellion, which under Spanish law implies the use of violence to subvert the constitutional order.
Hundreds of extra police had been deployed to the region before the ruling as pro-secession groups previously said if any of the defendants were found guilty they would organise protests and "peaceful civil disobedience".
Soon after the ruling hundreds of students and civil servants began protesting in the Catalan capital of Barcelona.

Protesters blocked roads, while civil servants gathered outside some government buildings and protests were reported in other towns across the wealthy northeastern region.
Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia's former president, who is living in Belgium in self-imposed exile, called the decision to jail the nine for a total of 100 years a "barbarity".
He tweeted: "100 years of imprisonment in total. A barbarity. Now more than ever, will will be by your side and that of your families.
"Tap react, like never before. For the future of our sons and daughters. For democracy. For Europe. For Catalonia."
Josep Rull, Catalonia's former regional government councillor, was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison.

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