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Jailed speaker tells judge her imprisonment would happen 'nowhere else'

Spanish Supreme Court opens door to lower charges to ‘conspiracy to commit rebellion’ or ‘sedition’

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09 May 2018 03:55 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Incarcerating a speaker for allowing parliamentary debates happens only in Catalonia, and “nowhere else” in the world. This is what the former Catalan Parliament president, Carme Forcadell, told the Supreme Court judges this Wednesday on a hearing. She has been incarcerated since March 23 for allowing the referendum law and the declaration of independence –among others– to be voted on in the Catalan chamber.

In another hearing, another jailed senior MP and deposed minister, Jordi Turull, requested his freedom before the magistrate, on the grounds that he can still be sworn in as president. This, according to Turull, would show his will to engage in “dialogue” with Spain. Turull was nominated for the presidency, but he was sent to pre-trial prison also on March 23 between the two rounds of votes of his investiture, thus failing to be elected. Forcadell and Turull are appealing their imprisonments, along with deposed ministers Rull, Romeva, and Bassa, who declined to testify in their hearings.

Also on Wednesday, the judge in charge of the independence case opened the door to lowering charges of the 13 officials prosecuted for rebellion, to the charges of conspiracy to commit rebellion or sedition. He also argued that a report sent by the Spanish Finance ministry confirms that the deposed Catalan government committed misuse of public funds because, according to it, there is a “chance that a hidden mechanism for fraud” was in operation to prepare the October 1 referendum.

He also confirmed the prosecution of 23 officials, after dismissing appeals. The final decision over the prosecution of two more officials is yet to be taken.  

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  • Former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell leaving the Supreme Court, surrounded by journalists on March 23 2018 (by Pol Solà)

  • Former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell leaving the Supreme Court, surrounded by journalists on March 23 2018 (by Pol Solà)