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Case against Catalan independence extended up to 18 months

Spain’s Supreme Court declares the investigation of pro-independence leaders to be “complex” and will take more time than normal

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01 March 2018 04:20 PM

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ACN | Madrid

Spain’s Supreme Court has declared the case against the Catalan independence referendum to be "complex," and will prolong the investigation for up to 18 months. In total, 28 people are under investigation for their role in the political roadmap that led to a declaration of independence last October, including government members and pro-independence activists.

This decision brings good and bad news for the pro-independence bloc. On the one hand, four leaders who have been preemptively jailed for months could end up remaining behind bars for even longer. On the other, this new deadline could prevent the judge from suspending Oriol Junqueras and Jordi Sànchez, two leaders in jail who were elected members of the parliament in the last election, and who are expected to have leading roles in the next government of Catalonia.

Until now, the judge Pablo Llarena was expected to end the investigation and start the trial in a 6-month period starting on October 31—that is, no later than April this year. With the new deadline, Llarena could extend the investigation until April next year. Yet, Llarena could decide to move it forward before the final deadline.

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  • Marta Pascal, leader of PDeCAT party, arrives in Spain's Supreme Court (by ACN)

  • Marta Pascal, leader of PDeCAT party, arrives in Spain's Supreme Court (by ACN)