- Title: Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders over failed independence bid
- Date: 14th October 2019
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF SPAIN'S SUPREME COURT WITH SCAFFOLDING ON THE FACADE AND CLEANER SWEEPING THE AREA IN FRONT OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE SPANISH FLAG ON TOP OF COURT BUILDING AND STATUES CAR CARRYING MANUEL MARCHENA, THE TOP JUDGE IN THE TRIAL OF 12 CATALAN SEPARATIST LEADERS, ARRIVING, MARCHENA GETTING OUT OF CAR AND ENTERING THE COURT BARCELONA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PRO-INDEPENDENCE PROTESTERS CARRYING BANNERS AND BLOCKING ROADS AS THEY CHANT IN CATALAN, "FREEDOM FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS" (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) CIVIL SERVANT, ANGELS UIBAL, SAYING: "When the Spanish state imprisoned our politicians and our legitimate government, it showed they don't have any more resources. They think that by doing that we will give up, but we will not. So this (sentence) for us is the beginning of the end. We have been quiet, waiting to see what was going to happen. We had hope for dialogue, but the state is not up for dialogue. The sentence is very unfair, it's a great shame and very poor democracy." PROTESTERS BLOCKING ROAD (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RETIRED, BERNARDO FERNANDEZ, SAYING: "If you break the law, you have to pay. It's the same for everyone, whether it's in Catalonia or Australia, it's the law. If they break the law, they have to lump it. There's no other way." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RETIRED, ASUNCION, SAYING: "It's a political trial designed to give the Catalans a lesson. That trial and ruling should never have happened. Simple." SANT JOAN DE VILLATORRADA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CATALAN PRO-INDEPENDENCE PROTESTERS OUTSIDE LLEDONERS PRISON WHERE CATALAN LEADERS ARE JAILED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER SAYING: "These people have been unfairly sentenced. Although we already knew this was going to happen because it had been decided already. It has been a fake trial, there is not other name for this. We are totally outraged but we will be here facing this as much as we can." PARAGLIDER FLYING OVER LLEDONERS PRISON ENTRANCE TO LLEDONERS PRISON MADRID, SPAIN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) SPANISH FLAG AND VEHICLES DRIVING ON STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MADRID RESIDENT, JUAN LUIS OUCADE, SAYING: "I think the crime of rebellion was totally justified because it was really a rising against the right of state and against democracy and they should have got the maximum that penal code says." CARS DRIVING BARCELONA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) CATALAN REGIONAL LEADER QUIM TORRA ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CATALAN REGIONAL LEADER, QUIM TORRA, SAYING: "The Catalan government and I personally reject this verdict because we consider them unjust and anti-democratic and because they are part of a political trial and in a campaign of legal action against Catalonia's right to self-determination and against the independence movement. Now, today more than ever, we stand by their families because today, more than ever, we feel a sense of fraternal solidarity with those convicted by the Supreme Court." MADRID, SPAIN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) SPANISH ACTING PRIME MINISTER PEDRO SANCHEZ ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM AND STANDING BEFORE PODIUM (PART MUTE) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPANISH ACTING PRIME MINISTER, PEDRO SANCHEZ, SAYING: "The government of Spain respects and abides by the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court which puts an end to a judicial procedure meeting all the requirements of due process and transparency and separation of powers. Nobody is above the law, nobody is above the law. In a democracy like Spain's nobody is subject to trial for his or her ideas or politics, but rather for criminal conduct as provided by the law." JOURNALISTS (MUTE) SANCHEZ SAYING THANK YOU IN SPANISH AND LEAVING (PART MUTE)
- Embargoed: 28th October 2019 12:41
- Keywords: Catalonia independence referendum Spain Supreme Court Catalan separatist leaders jailed Quim Torra Pedro Sanchez
- Location: MADRID, BARCELONA AND SANT JOAN DE VILLATORRADA, SPAIN
- City: MADRID, BARCELONA AND SANT JOAN DE VILLATORRADA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B12KZT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Spain's Supreme Court on Monday (October 14) sentenced nine separatist leaders from Catalonia to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid, triggering protests across the region.
Three other defendants who were also on trial for their involvement in the October 2017 referendum held in spite of a ban and a short-lived independence declaration, were found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison.
All defendants were acquitted of the gravest charge, rebellion, but leading separatists were quick to condemn the court's decision and the jailed men sent out messages of defiance, urging people to take to the streets.
In Barcelona, three main streets were blocked by protesters holding signs calling for "Freedom for political prisoners."
Separatist protests have been largely peaceful but police sources have said authorities are prepared for any violence. Spanish authorities are keen to avoid any condemnation from abroad of the sentence as too draconian, and the separatist movement will have to decide how to react to the ruling.
The jailed separatists said via social media that they would carry on their fight.
The regional head of Catalonia, separatist Quim Torra, said he rejected the verdict and called for an amnesty for all 12 leaders and said he would seek an urgent meeting with Spain's King Felipe VI and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
The ruling is likely to colour a national election on Nov. 10, Spain's fourth in four years, and influence the direction taken by the separatist movement.
An opinion poll in July showed 48.3% of Catalans against secession and 44% in favour.
(Production: Louisa Naks)
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