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Prosecutors accuse Catalan leaders of uprising including 'force, aggression and violence'

Justification for demands for lengthy prison terms for pro-independence officials claim police heads were implicit in secession bid

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02 November 2018 06:42 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

After Spanish prosecutors called for Catalan political leaders and police heads to serve a total of 177 years in prison for their part in last year's independence bid, the prosecutor's office of the Supreme Court released a document on Friday justifying the demand for such heavy prison sentences.

According to the text, the defendants were "aware" that violence could have erupted during the attempt to bring about the independence of Catalonia, and accuses them of a "general uprising, leading to acts of force, aggression and violence."

According to the Spanish authorities, the preparations leading to the offenses for which the leaders are accused go back to September 2012, and they cite incidents against the Spanish police, particularly after the violent behavior by Spanish police officers during the October 1 referendum.

Moreover, the four prosecutors who signed the 127-page document accuse the pro-independence leaders of misuse of public funds to the tune of 3.1 million euros in carrying out the referendum, even though they also admit that some of the bills were never actually paid.

The prosecutors say all defendants were party to plans to achieve the independence of Catalonia "using all means necessary, including violence, appealing to the intimidatory force represented by mass public demonstrations, and the use of the Mossos d'Esquadra [Catalan police] as an armed police force of some 17,000 officers who would act exclusively on their instructions."

At the same time, the "joint" actions of the Parliament, the government and pro-independence organizations, above all the ANC and Òmnium civic organizations, actively looked for international recognition and to "apply pressure so as to force the State to capitulate."

Catalan police accused of complicity

Meanwhile, the prosecutor of Spain's National high court accuses the Mossos d'Esquadra and, therefore, former police chief, Josep Lluís Trapero, and former officials of the interior ministry, Cèsar Puig and Pere Soler, of putting the Catalan police force "at the service of the plans for independence."

In another document released on Friday, the prosecutor accuses the heads of the Catalan police of "inaction" and of "deliberately" coming up with a plan to avoid the interference of the police in intervening in the unilateral independence referendum on October 1, while "appearing" to take action against it.

While the document does not explain why the charges against the former officials were changed from sedition to rebellion, it details how, between September 20 and October 1, "violent events" took place, and talks about a "climate of tension and confrontation liable to become widespread."

Former Catalan police head, Teresa Laplana, who is accused of sedition, is singled out for cooperating "in a decisive, conscious and intentional" manner with the push for independence. Trapero, Puig and Soler are also accused of "signing up to the secessionist plan" and putting the Mossos d'Esquadra at "the service" of the plan for independence.

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  • Voters facing police officers on October 1 in Catalonia (by Carles Palacio)

  • Voters facing police officers on October 1 in Catalonia (by Carles Palacio)