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Independence trial continues with prosecutors' preliminary statements

Judge expected to decide on general questions before defendants speak on Wednesday or in coming days


13 February 2019 01:21 PM


ACN | Madrid

Day 2 of the independence trial started on Wednesday with the prosecutors' preliminary statements. 

Two public prosecutors had the first word, dismissing all the requests by the defendants' lawyers on Tuesday to "nullify" the trial.

"Those who seriously broke the constitutional order are presented as victims of persecution," said prosecutor Javier Zaragoza, who made the first statement. 

"No persecution," claims prosecutor

Referring to points brought up by the defense lawyers on Tuesday, the prosecutor said "no one has been persecuted for their ideas, but for their actions."

Zaragoza also insisted that violence -a prerequisite for the charges of rebellion- had taken place during the independence bid: "There were violent situations on September 20, 2017, and during [the referendum on] October 1, 2017," he said.

The public prosecutor also dismissed calls for the former Catalan president now in exile, Carles Puigdemont, to testify in the trial. "Wanting someone who is also charged to testify from a distance would break the rules of the trial," said Zaragoza.

Also, Zaragoza dismissed the claim that the refusal by the Spanish authorities to negotiate a vote on self-determination justified going ahead with the independence bid. "A supposed lack of dialogue from the State cannot be used to justify a unilateral process of secession," he said.

Catalan government has "the resposibility" for violence

In finishing his statement, the prosecutor addressed again the issue of violence seen on October 1, 2017, when Spanish police tried to prevent the vote taking place by confiscating ballot boxes and closing polling places.

"I don't think the responsibility for the violence on referendum day can be attributed to the State's law enforcement, but to those who, knowing the law, mobilized thousands of citizens. They acted as human walls impeding the legitimate police operation," he concluded.

What next?

Once the prosecutors have given their statements, the judges are expected to decide on the preliminary questions raised by all the lawyers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The next step will be for the main part of the trial to start –the defendants' statements will come first, with former vice president Oriol Junqueras expected to be the first one to answer questions from his lawyers and the prosecutors.

This could happen as soon as Wednesday, but could also take place on Thursday or next Tuesday.