Spanish court sets Dec 18 for trial against Catalan leaders’ initial hearings

Supreme Court to rule on whether it’s a competent body to judge case against pro-independence leaders

Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid (by Tània Tàpia)
Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid (by Tània Tàpia) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 11, 2018 12:45 PM

December 18. This will be the day when the trial against Catalan independence leaders is set to start, when the Spanish Supreme Court will hold initial hearings to determine whether it’s competent to judge the case.

The court will meet on Tuesday at 10 am to rule on the defendants’ petition to transfer the case to Spain’s High Court in Catalonia. The nine pro-independence leaders in pre-trial jail won’t be required to attend the hearing.

Once the Supreme Court makes a decision, defendants will have 10 days to propose witnesses and present evidence for the trial. The next step will be the hearings with Catalan leaders themselves.

In total, 18 Catalan leaders will face trial for their role in the bid for independence. This includes members of the cabinet that organized a referendum and declared independence, despite Spain’s opposition a year ago.

The most serious offense Catalan leaders are charged with is that of rebellion, a widely contested accusation that implies an "uprising with violence."

Spain’s public prosecutor has requested a total of 177 years in prison for members of the former Catalan government, as well as for the former parliament speaker and two leading activists.