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Spain : process against Catalan separatists begins in Madrid

The courthouse is like a fortress. Hundreds of police guarding the Supreme court of Spain, which is located in the centre of Madrid. In this venerable Palace fr

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Spain : process against Catalan separatists begins in Madrid

The courthouse is like a fortress. Hundreds of police guarding the Supreme court of Spain, which is located in the centre of Madrid. In this venerable Palace from the 18th century. Century starts this Tuesday one of the most important processes of the Spanish democracy's history. Spanish media speak of a "century" process.

In any case, it is a historical mammoth process in which the independence conflict in the North-Eastern Spanish Region of Catalonia, now legally is worked up.

Twelve Catalan separatists leaders will have to answer in front of a seven-member criminal court for the alleged illegal independence of decisions in the fall of 2017. Secession resolutions, which crashed into two political camps divided Region and the whole of Spain into a deep crisis.

At the same time, the conflict in the autumn held in 2017, the world and Europe continued wide public debate on whether the Catalonia Region should break easily from Spain.

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In the judicial aftermath of order it is, of course, less to the dream of independence, but the specific allegation that the leader of the independence have failed to move against the Spanish Constitution and other laws.

In addition, the method is considered to be a touchstone for democracy in Spain. Because the defendants see themselves as victims of an "unfair and political process". An accusation that Spain's judiciary has and with maximum transparency answer: The process is transmitted via Live-Streaming, so that the whole world can use the Internet to track the action.

"We are innocent," wrote Oriol Junqueras from the remand prison, where he spent the past 15 months. The 49-year-old leader of the independence party Esquerra Republicana (Republican Left) and Ex-Vice-the Prime Minister of Catalonia, the main accused.

On the weekend, thousands of Spaniards took to the streets to protest against Catalonia's independence aspirations. Rights...photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

The defendants were threatened with severe jail sentences

The Prosecutor accuses him of Rebellion, because he is said to have stirred up the Catalan population against the state. And embezzlement, because millions of taxpayers ' money has been spent for the illegal independence activities. 25 years in prison Junqueras.

in addition to Junqueras more celebrities take on the dock. For example, Jordi Sànchez, former chief of the major extra-parliamentary separatist movement, the ANC. Or Carme Forcadell, the former President of the Catalan regional Parliament.

in Addition must answer a number of Ministers of the then-separatist government. You will also be charged with Rebellion, infidelity, or disobedience; the Prosecutor calls for between seven and 17 years in prison.

The serious charge of Rebellion, the public Prosecutor's office based on the grounds that the separatists on 1. October 2017-handedly, a referendum on independence, although this had objected to the Spanish basic law, and although the voting had previously been by the constitutional court is prohibited. Also, a subsequent Declaration of independence was illegal. Because of their decisions by Carles Puigdemont led separatist government had been dispatched from Madrid.

No majority for an amendment to the Constitution

Spain's Constitution provides for the application of the basic laws of most European States, the secession of a territory. A binding and legal Referendum on independence of Catalonia, as it was held in 2014 in Scotland, would thus be only after an amendment to the Constitution. This is not a political majority, but currently, in Spain, in sight.

supporters of Catalonia's entmachtetem regional President Puigdemont pan at a rally on may 15. December in...photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP/dpa

The former Catalan Prime Minister Puigdemont , it was in the fall of 2017 as the head of the independence movement, you can lean back and relax. He must not currently have to fear for his freedom. At least as long as he remains abroad, where he settled after the beginning of the criminal investigation.

An escape, which by the way is in the independence camp controversial. Puigdemont from Belgium, where he is currently, should come back to Spain, he must expect but also with arrest and prosecution.

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On a delivery Puigdemonts, who was arrested in the spring of 2018 in Germany temporarily, had Spain omitted. Especially because the German extradition were judges a rendition Puigdemonts only because of the charge of infidelity, but not because of Rebellion.

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