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‘More violence in taxi strike than whole independence process,’ says Jordi Sànchez

Writing from prison, jailed pro-independence leader calls for charges of rebellion and sedition to be dropped

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06 August 2018 01:28 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Writing from prison, Jordi Sànchez has once again rejected the crimes he is being accused of, and those of other jailed leaders in preventive detention. He particularly highlighted the crimes linked to acts of violence.

The pro-independence leader and president of parliamentary group Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) took part in a written interview with Spanish news outlet El Diario. In it, he called on the Spain’s new public prosecutor, María José Segarra, to drop the charge of rebellion, which can carry up to 30 years behind bars,  against the Catalan leaders accused of it for their role in the country’s push for independence.

“And not only the crime of rebellion, but also sedition,” he wrote. “There was more violence in a weekend of the taxi drivers’ strike than in the whole independence process. Even on October 1 (day of independence referendum) when the only violence was from the Guardia Civil and Spanish police,” he added.

During the recent taxi strike, some drivers attacked Uber or Cabify cars. The car-hailing companies are  seen as a threat by traditional taxi drivers, who call for more regulation regarding licences.

Remaining behind bars

Sànchez is also convinced that he will not be able to achieve provisional freedom before the trial. “I have stopped believing in a correctly done deal. The prosecutors and magistrates of the Spanish Supreme Court have  created a fantastical narrative, false, in which they have come to express their prejudices and antagonism in writing against the ideals that we democratically defend,” he said.

He asked for nobody to “be deceived,” stating that he and the other jailed leaders are “in prison to prevent them from being active in parliament.

Possible outcomes of trial

Speaking of the possible outcome of the trial, Sànchez has said he will not accept any deal with Spanish justice to reduce the charges by accepting specific crimes. “I won’t accept anything other than the withdrawal of the accusation of rebellion and sedition,” he said.  

He also spoke about the future of his political career, highlighting his conviction that it has come to an end, at least for the time being. In the face of possible new elections, Sànchez believes that he would not even be able to present himself due to the legal consequences imposed by Spain.

“Unfortunately, I think the Supreme will watch over my suspension and subsequent disqualification,” he said.

“Stronger than ever”

Meanwhile the jailed leaders Oriol Junqueras  and Raül Romeva, writing in the daily La Vanguardia, said that they feel “stronger than ever.” Both the former vice-president and foreign affairs minister have been locked up for nine months.

They reject any agreement  with  the prosecutor and demand an acquittal in the “unfair” trial against pro-independence leaders. They denounce that it will be “a political trial, a democratic shame in  the general framework of involution of rights and freedoms in Spain.”

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  • Jordi Sànchez in September  2017 (ACN)

  • Jordi Sànchez in September 2017 (ACN)