Spain's National Court indicts 13 pro-independence CDR activists for terrorism

Magistrates believe campaigners arrested in September 2019 were part of a "clandestine" and "radicalized" cell

Spanish police officers escort one of the pro-independence activists arrested on Monday out of his house (by Miquel Codolar)
Spanish police officers escort one of the pro-independence activists arrested on Monday out of his house (by Miquel Codolar) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 14, 2021 02:22 PM

Spain's National Court has indicted 13 pro-independence grassroots Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) activists for terrorism.

On Tuesday, magistrates decided to continue the judicial proceedings against the accused, who are now very likely to face trial. Judges in Spain's antiterrorism court, in Madrid, believe that they were part of a "clandestine" and "radicalized" cell.

Nine of them have also been indicted for the terrorism-related offenses of possession, storing, and manufacturing explosive and flammable substances or artifacts.

These nine CDR members were arrested in September 2019 after a series of raids in the Vallès area, near Barcelona, in towns such as Sabadell, Mollet del Vallès, Cerdanyola del Vallès, and Vicenç de Torelló, and some of them spent a few months in provisional detention before they were all released.

Blocking roads and lifting toll barriers, among alleged actions by group

The judge's decree reads that the supposed cell was accountable for a number of actions in favor of independence and against the imprisonment of politicians, including blocking off roads to traffic, dumping oil on the C-55 road to prevent the transfer of the jailed leaders from Catalonia to Madrid and forcibly lifting toll barriers

The court also says that the indicted individuals were planning to occupy the Catalan parliament for at least a week. 

If convicted of these terrorism-related crimes, the 13 activists could face sentences of up to 27 years behind bars. 

Independence campaigners: 'repression' and 'dirty war'

The accused have repeatedly denied the events for which they are accused, with the independence camp describing the accusations as part of the "dirty war" of the Spanish state against dissidents who want a Catalan republic. 

The imprisonment of nine politicians and leading activists from 2017 to June 2021 for the organization of the 2017 referendum is another major judicial procedure considered to be a 'dirty war' by the independence campaigners, who also describe these cases as "repression" and the "general proceedings against independence." 

"Repression does not stop, let's not get confused about who the enemy is. This is the dialogue proposed by Spain," said parliament speaker Laura Borràs of the indictments.