catalan independence

Spanish Supreme Court names former Catalan premier in rebellion probe

Artur Mas is already banned from public office for two years for role in 2014 illegal referendum

Former Catalan premier Artur Mas.
Former Catalan premier Artur Mas.Toni Albir / EFE

Supreme Court justice Pablo Llarena has named former Catalan premier Artur Mas in an ongoing investigation into possible rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds in the independence push in Catalonia – an investigation that has already targeted key pro-secession figures including ousted regional premier Carles Puigdemont and his deputy Oriol Junqueras.

If charged and found guilty of rebellion, the new targets in the investigation could face a prison sentence of 30 years

Mas, who received a two-year ban from holding public office in May for his role in organizing an illegal independence referendum in Catalonia in 2014, also belonged to the so-called Strategic Committee behind the recent independence drive which climaxed when the Catalan parliament passed a unilateral declaration of independence on October 27, according to documents seized by Spain’s Civil Guard.

Fellow committee members Marta Rovira, secretary general for the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Anna Gabriel, the former spokesperson for the radical-left CUP party in the Catalan parliament, have also been named in the Supreme Court investigation.

If charged and found guilty of rebellion, the new targets in the investigation could face a prison sentence of 30 years.

CUP spokesperson Anna Gabriel was a member of the Strategy Committee behind the recent independence push in Catalonia.
CUP spokesperson Anna Gabriel was a member of the Strategy Committee behind the recent independence push in Catalonia.TONI ALBIR / EFE

In his writ, Llarena explained that the Catalan Independence push was made possible under the direction and coordination of a group of people which included the leaders and spokespeople of pro-independence parliamentary groups in the Catalan parliament, which was later dissolved by Madrid using emergency powers.

The Supreme Court justice said the suspected involvement of these figures in the independence movement stemmed not just from the fact that their names appeared in the so-called Enfocats strategy document, but are also named as participants at meetings designed to push forward the independence process.

Llarena recently announced that the Supreme Court investigation into the Catalan independence movement would be stepped up, and he ordered the Civil Guard to draw up detailed reports to clarify the role of a broad range of individuals, political parties and civic organizations in the events leading up to the unilateral declaration of independence in October.

English version by George Mills.

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