Supreme Court confirms charges against exiled independence leaders
High court rejects appeals by ex-ministers Comín and Serret and is now free to suspend former as Catalan MP
Spain's Supreme Court has dismissed the appeals from two exiled former Catalan ministers, thereby upholding the charges against them for their roles in the 2017 independence bid.
Former health minister Antoni Comín and former agriculture minister Meritxell Serret, who are now in Belgium, were respectively charged in May 2018 with rebellion and disobedience, with both accused of misusing public funds.
Comín has a seat in the Catalan Parliament, and the resolution of his appeal means the high court can now suspend him as an MP, as it did with other representatives charged over the events in Catalonia in autumn 2017.
The court argued that the leaders of the push for independence "planned, organized and implemented the [unilateral] referendum" while understanding the "high risk of violence it implied."
While the court acknowledged that the bid to split from Spain did not result in "major public disturbances," it said that a "multitude" of people were called on to "carry out behavior that was unquestionably illegal and unconstitutional."
Comín recently won a seat in the EU parliament alongside former president and exile, Carles Puigdemont. However, unable to attend the ceremony in Madrid to register as an MEP out of fear of arrest, his seat has been declared vacant by the electoral authority.