Catalan police chief and pro-independence civil society organizations leaders in court accused of sedition
The crime of sedition carries jail sentences of between 4 and 15 years
The Catalan police chief, Josep Lluís Trapero, and the leaders of the ANC and Òmnium pro-independence civil society organisations, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, are appearing today before court in Madrid on suspicion of sedition against the state. The hearing is taking place at the Spain’s National Court, in Madrid. Catalan police are accused of failing to protect Spain’s police from protesters during the demonstrations that took place on September 20 and 21 in Barcelona.
According to article 544 of the Criminal Code, those that rise up "publicly and tumultuously" to prevent the application of laws or the work authorities "by force or illegally” can be charged with sedition. Under Spanish law, the crime carries jail sentences of between 4 and 15 years.
The three defendants arrived separately. Dressed in uniform and accompanied by other Catalan police officers, the Catalan police chief was first to arrive in court. The last to enter was Cuixart. Teresa Laplana, another Catalan police officer, will testify by videoconference due to health reasons. Laplana and Trapero will testify before the two pro-independence civil society organizations leaders.
Deputies and senators from different Catalan and Basque political parties have gone to the National Court to greet and accompany the three defendants. Nevertheless, a police barrage and fences have prevented them from doing so. They have all criticized these security measures. Cuixart and Sànchez thanked them for their presence from the distance.