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'No way out' if Madrid denies agreed referendum, says jailed former VP

Both former government number 2 Junqueras and fellow incarcerated former minister skeptical on validity of upcoming trial


16 September 2018 01:23 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan former ministers now in pre-trial jail are pushing the Spanish government to agree on a referendum from behind bars like the current cabinet.

Through two interview, former Puigdemont executive members urge Madrid to accept such a vote.

"If they continue flatly rejecting it, not only agreeing on a vote, but speaking about it, they will take a no way out path," said former vice president Oriol Junqueras in a written article published by El Punt Avui newspaper.

For him, such denial "might only end up generating the conditions for another October 1 [referendum day]."

Junqueras: "We have earned right to decide"

"We have earned the right to be, the right to decide," he said in the text titled '325 days behind bars, 325 reaffirming convictions.' "As the days go by, we do not understand why [the new Spanish Socialist government] does not learnt from what [former Spanish president] Mariano Rajoy did not do well: not taking any initiative."

  • "We have not committed any crime, and we have never used or accepted violence"

    Joaquim Forn · Former Catalan minister

"We still do not know Sánchez's Socialists' proposal for Catalonia," added Junqueras, who said that the one from the pro-independence parties is clear: agreeing the terms of a referendum on self-determination.

Forn: "No referendum big mistake"

In similar terms did another jailed leader answer to a written interview by La Vanguardia newspaper.

He defended dialogue and consensus but at the same time said "it would be a very big mistake" that the Spanish current government vetoed such referendum.

"[Pedro Sánchez] cannot omit an overwhelming majority of Catalans who are in favor of the right to decide," he claimed.

Skepticism over upcoming trial

Concerning the upcoming trial, in which Junqueras, Forn and some more officials will be accused of rebellion –a crime that might carry 30 years behind bars–, both expressed skepticism at the Spanish judiciary.

For Junqueras, the trial "won't be fair as the inquiry has not been."

"It won't be a trial to the independence movement, but to democracy," he added saying that if the sentence is not an absolution, "it will weigh heavily in Spain's history forever."

Forn hopes the outcome of the trial is an absolution and he thinks that the situation of precautionary detention for almost 11 months that they have been facing is because of "a will to punish rather than a wish to exercise justice."

"We have not committed any crime," he added. "And we have never used or accepted violence."


  • Deposed vice president Oriol Junqueras arrives in court on November 2 (by ACN)

  • Deposed vice president Oriol Junqueras arrives in court on November 2 (by ACN)