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Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders for a total of almost 100 years

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:19s - Published < > Embed
Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders for a total of almost 100 years

Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders for a total of almost 100 years

Spain's Supreme Court handed prison sentences of between nine and 13 years to nine separatist leaders on Monday, for their role in a failed Catalan independence bid in 2017.

David Doyle reports.

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Spain jails Catalan separatist leaders for a total of almost 100 years

Spain's Supreme Court has handed jail sentences totaling almost 100 years to nine separatist leaders for their roles in Catalonia's failed independence bid.

That drive for secession in 2017 culminated in a banned referendum and a short-lived declaration of independence, that garnered worldwide attention and triggered Spain's biggest political crisis in decades, before Madrid stepped in to impose direct rule.

On Monday (October 14), nine of the leaders were sentenced to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition, with the longest term going to former deputy leader of the Catalan regional government Oriol Junqueras.

They were acquitted of the gravest charge - rebellion.

Three other defendants were found guilty only of disobedience, and not sentenced to prison.

The former head of the Catalan regional government and figurehead of the independence movement, Carles Puigdemont, was not part of this trial because he fled to Belgium.

He called the sentences an "atrocity" and said now was the time to react "like never before".

The main question now is what that reaction from separatists will be.

Protests have been largely peaceful so far, but police sources said the authorities are prepared for any violence.




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