Judiciary has 'full legitimacy,' says Spanish king ahead of independence trial
Felipe VI warns that Constitution "protects but at the same time limits" political power
The Spanish judiciary has "full legitimacy," the King of Spain, Felipe VI, has made clear ahead of the upcoming trial of the leaders behind the Catalan independence referendum.
In a solemn event with the Spanish judiciary's top officials, the monarch defended the separation of powers in Spain, despite the doubts raised by the case of the Catalan political leaders and the controversy over the mortgage tax.
King Felipe said that the Constitution "protects but at the same time limits" political power, and he added that "political pluralism and freedom" are part of constitutional values.
According to the monarch, "judging and making sure what is judged is executed, which is exclusively attributed to a state power, independent and completely separate from other powers" is essential in any democracy.
Trial to 12 pro-independence leaders
Felipe's backing of the Spanish judiciary comes only a few weeks before the Supreme Court tries 12 pro-independence leaders, including nine officials in pre-trial jail.
The former Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, and the former parliament president, Carme Forcadell, are two of the officials to be tried for rebellion, with others also charged with the misuse of public funds.
The Spanish state prosecutor is requesting a joint total of 177 years in jail for the leaders, with Junqueras alone facing a 25-year prison sentence.