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Court of Auditors orders Mas to pay €5.2m for November 9 vote

The former Catalan president and ex-ministers given 15 days to deposit money or face freezing of personal assets

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25 September 2017 06:10 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Former Catalan president, Artur Mas, has two weeks to deposit more than five million euros with Spain’s Court of Auditors to pay for a non-binding referendum that his government organized on November 9, 2014.

The court informed Mas’ lawyers in a meeting in Madrid on Monday that he must pay a total of 4.8 million euros and 400,000 euros in interest to cover the expenses of the vote that was declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.

While the court investigation includes former ministers Irene Rigau, Joana Ortega and Francesc Homs, and six other officials, as Catalan president at the time, Mas is considered ultimately responsible. However, together, the former officials now have 15 days to deposit the money or their personal assets will be frozen.

  • "The payment shows that we will only survive if we win”

    Jordi Sánchez · Catalan National Assembly president

The investigation by the Court of Auditors began on July 19 after a lawsuit was filed by the anti-independence organizations, Societat Civil Catalana and Abogados Catalanes por la Constitución, and supported by Spain’s Attorney General.

“We will only survive if we win”

Responding to the news, the head of the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly, Jordi Sánchez, tweeted the numbers of two bank accounts set up to collect funds to pay the fines and legal expenses of Catalan officials taken to court over the referendum issue. "The payment shows that we will only survive if we win,” said Sánchez.

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  • Former Catalan president Artur Mas (by ACN)

  • Former Catalan president Artur Mas (by ACN)