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Ex-ministers who avoided jail in Catalan trial complete 20-month disqualification

Mundó, Borràs, and Vila become first pro-independence leaders to conclude sentence

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09 June 2021 02:30 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Three former Catalan ministers concluded 20-month bans from public office on Wednesday, thus becoming the first politicians convicted following the failed 2017 push to separate from Spain to complete their sentences.

Unlike their pro-independence colleagues serving lengthy prison terms for the crime of sedition, Carles Mundó, Meritxell Borràs, and Santi Vila were only found guilty of disobedience and faced 60,000-euro fines. 

In a trial with far-reaching political consequences, the Supreme Court sentenced nine leaders to 9-13 years in prison for calling an unauthorized referendum, but found no evidence that Mundó, Borràs, and Vila contributed to preparations for the vote.

Three politicians who quit politics

Unlike some jailed leaders who continue to play a prominent role in Catalan politics, Borràs, Mundó, and Vila decided to quit politics altogether in the fall of 2017.

During the trial, Vila said he was against the unilateral strategy favored by his colleagues, but stayed in the cabinet until the very last minute to try to dissuade them.

He stepped down from his post as business minister a day before the failed declaration of independence on October 27, when the entire cabinet was sacked by the Spanish government. Vila spent a night in prison before posting bail.

Catalonia’s governance minister at the time of the independence referendum, Borràs, decided to leave politics after spending 33 days in prison, thereby ending a career that spanned more than 20 years.

Summoned to court in March 2018, she was allowed to walk free while most of her colleagues were incarcerated once again and continue behind bars to this day.

Like Borràs, Carles Mundó left politics after spending 33 days in jail in late 2017 for his role in the independence bid. He was the Catalan justice minister at the time of the referendum.

Mundó preparing an appeal

Mundó has already confirmed he will take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, seeking to overturn his disobedience sentence after exhausting all possible appeals within Spain.

On Wednesday, jailed pro-independence activist Jordi Cuixart became the first Catalan leader to appeal the Supreme Court ruling in Strasbourg.

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  • From left to right, former Catalan ministers Meritxell Borràs, Santi Vila, and Carles Mundó facing trial at Spain's Supreme Court (by EFE)

  • From left to right, former Catalan ministers Meritxell Borràs, Santi Vila, and Carles Mundó facing trial at Spain's Supreme Court (by EFE)

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