surinenglish

Trial winds up and judges retire to make their decision on Catalan ‘rebels‘

The seven judges sitting in front of the accused on the last day.
The seven judges sitting in front of the accused on the last day. / EFE
  • The 12 defendants claimed in their final statements that the trial was ignoring a political problem and the people’s demands

The most important trial in modern Spanish history wrapped up on Wednesday. Supreme Court judges have now retired to consider their verdict on 12 political and social leaders in Catalonia charged with various offences, including rebellion. The seven judges aren’t expected to reach a verdict on the complex case until after the summer.

There have been 52 sessions and 300 hours of hearings over the defendants’ involvement in the illegal declaration of independence in 2017.

The prosecution is asking for 16 to 25 years in jail for the nine accused of rebellion although a lesser charge of sedition is also muted.

Those in the dock had the chance to say some final words. Jordi Sánchez, former leader of the ANC, a separatist movement, said, “It’s unfair for this court to have to resolve a political problem. But you [the judges] have the responsibility not to make the problem worse. Iwouldn’t like to be in your shoes. If only your sentence could help resolve what the political class hasn’t been able to resolve.”

Raúl Romeva, former Catalan Foreign minister said, “We aren’t 12 people on this bench, we are over two million people.”