CATALAN CHARGES: State and prosecutors differ on jail requests

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DIFFERENT CHARGES: The defendants are being tried over last year’s Catalan independence vote CREDIT: Shutterstock

LAWYERS with the Spanish government and prosecutors have both submitted different requests for sentences for 18 defendants due to stand trial in connection with last year’s Catalan independence vote.

The State Advocacy office accused the defendants of sedition in its pre-trial submissions to the Supreme Court, which is due to hear the case next year. Prosecutors alleged they were guilty of the more serious charge of rebellion.

The difference in jail time between the two requests is more than half in the case of some defendants.

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The State Advocacy office requested that former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras be sentenced to 12 years in prison if found guilty. Prosecutors have asked the court to jail Junqueras for 25 years if he is convicted.

Spanish government lawyers have accused the defendants of sedition because they argue that they did not attempt to get independence for Cataluña through violent means.

Politicians including Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have previously said the charge of rebellion is inappropriate and would not be appropriate in the Catalan independence case.

Government lawyers also asked for smaller sentences for the other charges which include embezzlement in connection with the money used to hold the referendum.

The Ministry of Justice said it was done because would have been impossible to hold the referendum, and thereby commit sedition, without embezzling public money

Prosecutors claimed a total of €1.9 million was used to hold the referendum and argue the embezzlement charges are aggravated by the sedition charges, meaning jail terms should be longer.

The case continues.

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