Today, Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition, for their role in the region’s failed bid for independence in 2017. All of the defendants were acquitted of the most severe charge, rebellion.
Four of the separatist leaders were also convicted for misuse of public funds. However, many in Madrid argued that the separatist leaders should have been sentenced for rebellion as well.
MADRID RESIDENT, JUAN LUIS OUCADE, – “I think the crime of rebellion was totally justified because it was really a rising against the right of state and against democracy and they should have got the maximum that penal code allows.”
Other Madrid residents were of the opinion that it is necessary to respect the verdict of the Supreme Court.
MADRID RESIDENT, ANGEL GIRAU, – “About the sentence, I think it’s good that there’s not a general perception of impunity. Furthermore, it’s difficult to know the exact grade, whether it should be 4, 6, 8 or 15 years . Personally I can say that rebellion for me was a bit crazy. Apart from that, it is the Supreme Court and what we need to do now is to abide by the sentence and that’s it.”
Separatist protesters responded to the verdict by blocking access to trains and metros to Barcelona airport, whilst others temporarily halted traffic on the A2 highway and several regional roads across Catalonia,
The current leader of Catalonia, Quim Torra, stated that he considers the court case a show trial.
CATALAN REGIONAL LEADER QUIM TORRA: – “The Catalan government and I personally reject this verdict because we consider them unfair and anti-democratic and because they are part of a political trial and in a campaign of legal action against Catalonia’s right to self-determination and against the independence movement.
The ruling is likely to colour a national election on Nov. 10, Spain’s fourth in four years, scheduled for Nov. 10, and influence the direction taken by the separatist movement.