Supreme Court takes over the case against pro-independence leaders
The only exception will be the trial against the former Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero
The Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llanera announced on Friday that it would take over the case against pro-independence leaders from the National Court, thus opening the door for a possible reassessment of the preemptive imprisonment of ten Catalan leaders accused of rebellion for their role in Catalonia’s push for independence.
Llanera is already investigating Parliament bureau members who allowed the chamber to vote on independence on October 27. So far, he has imposed more lenient precautionary measures than his counterpart at the National Court, judge Carmen Lamela: while she put eight ministers and two civil society leaders in prison, Llanera only sent Catalan Parliament president Carme Forcadell to jail — she was released after paying a €150,000 bail.
“Those being investigated are members of a complex organization”
Carmen Lamela · National Court judge
Llanera argued that all political leaders should be tried together due to the “inseparable material connection” between the cases investigated at the National Court with those tried at the Supreme Court. Lamela backs Llanera’s decision. According to her, “those being investigated are members of a complex organization” which attempted to achieve “Catalonia’s secession and its proclamation as a republic” contravening “the constitutional order”.
The prisoner's’ defence also sent reports to Llanera supporting his intentions to try all the leaders together. The Supreme Court could now summon them again next week and reconsider the precautionary measures imposed by the National Court.
The accused ministers and the Parliament bureau members face charges of rebellion, among others, which carry prison sentences of up to 30 years in prison. The charges of sedition faced by the grassroots leaders Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart carry jail sentences of up to 15 years.
The only case which will continue to be tried at the National Court is that of the former Catalan police chief, Josep Lluís Trapero. He resigned as head of the law enforcement agency on October 28, after the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry dismissed him following the suspension of self-rule in Catalonia.