Independence trial – what to expect for week 2

Testimony from prosecuted leaders set to continue after cross-examination of former vice president Junqueras and former minister Forn

Spain's Supreme Court, where the Catalan independence trials are taking place
Spain's Supreme Court, where the Catalan independence trials are taking place / ACN

ACN | Madrid

February 18, 2019 12:25 PM

The trial of the Catalan pro-independence leaders enters its second week on Tuesday. After the preliminary questions and the testimonies of two of the prosecuted officials, cross-examination of the rest of the defendants is expected to continue.

The former Catalan government spokesperson, Jordi Turull, will begin testifying at 10am. He is set to respond to his lawyer, the public prosecutor and the solicitor general –but as with the former ministers last week– he refuses to take questions from the private prosecutor, the far-right Vox party.

The main issues his testimony will deal with will be the organizing of the October 1, 2017 referendum. Turull was the presidency minister at the time and spoke to the press more than once on the day of the referendum, to talk about its logistics and to announce the results late at night.

Former foreign affairs minister to testify

Meanwhile, the former foreign affairs minister, Raül Romeva, will be the second defendant to take the stand before the Supreme Court this week –very likely on Tuesday as well.

Romeva will be asked about the foreign policy of the Puigdemont cabinet, as well as the supposed efforts to get international recognition for independence.

The former ministers Josep Rull (territory) and Dolors Bassa (work and social affairs) will be up after that, presumably on Wednesday. The independence leaders have all been in pre-trial prison for a year and they are accused of rebellion and misuse of funds.

Former ministers Meritxell Borràs, Carles Mundó and Santi Vila are next on the list to testify before the Supreme Court. They are the only ones not facing rebellion charges –yet they are charged with misuse of public funds– and spent up to a month in pre-trial prison in late 2017.

Activists and former parliament speaker unlike to testify on week 2

After them, for the first time in over a year, the voices of the two activists imprisoned in October 2017, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, will be heard. However, it is less likely they will take the stand in week 2, as sessions are only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The same goes for the the former Catalan parliament speaker, Carme Forcadell, who will be the last of the defendants to testify before the court begins to hear the witness statements from some 500 individuals.

International observers to attend sessions

The sessions on week 2 will be attended by four international observers, including John Philpot (formerly involved in the international criminal court), Paul Newman (involved in human rights issues in Sri Lanka), and professors Bill Bowring and Joaquín Urías.