You can read 9 more articles this month
HUNDREDS gathered outside a courtroom in Madrid today as a dozen leaders of Catalonia’s failed 2017 independence bid appeared for the opening of Spain’s “trial of the century.”
The defendants face charges including rebellion and sedition, with some facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
They are held responsible for the semi-autonomous region’s declaration of independence weeks after an October 2017 referendum that Madrid deemed illegal.
The national government consequently imposed direct rule, issuing arrest warrants for a number of high-profile separatists.
Former regional president Carles Puigdemont fled the country and is now in exile in Belgium.
Vice-president Oriol Junqueras faces a 25-year sentence if found guilty of rebellion; former speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell could receive 17 years.
Andreu van den Eynde, a lawyer for Mr Junqueras, said the case was a defence of free expression, the right to protest and the right to vote.
“We will not make a political defence but we will defend human values and rights,” he said, arguing that the defendants had already faced legal proceedings in which “every constitutional right has been restricted.”
The trial is expected to last three months.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.