18th August 2019
Catalan leaders on trial
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Defence teams prepare for final week of Catalan Trial

The trial at Spain’s Supreme Court against the 12 Catalan pro-independence leaders is expected to end this Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest, after four months of proceedings and over 50 sessions.

Catalan Trial: click here full details of those accused, the charges, and the accusers.

On Tuesday the closing arguments of the defence teams will commence, which will seek to refute the rebellion charges requested by the public prosecutor and far-right Vox party, representing the ‘popular prosecutor’ – Spain’s solicitor general denied rebellion charges and lowered their request to sedition.

On Tuesday each defence lawyer will have an hour to demand the acquittal of each of their defendants – the proceedings include 12 prosecuted leaders, which means the closing arguments of the lawyers can last up to 12 hours and may well go into Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Jordi Sànchez: ‘Nothing we’ve seen in our trial justifies prison’

Catalan leaders on trial
Former Catalan leaders including (from front row right to left) Oriol Junqueras, Raul Romeva, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Sanchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Jordi Cuixart, Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa, Carles Mundo, Santi Vila and Meritxel Borras attend their trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid on 12 February 2019. (Emilio Naranjo / POOL / AFP)

A platform of international observers of the proceedings, International Trial Watch, has criticised the fact that the defence teams are only given one hour for each defendant. For them this time is ‘insufficient’.

After these closing arguments, it will be the time for the defendants to put an end to the trial with their closing remarks. They will each have 15 minutes each to make their case for a second and last time after their cross-examinations in February.

ALSO READ: A UN group demands release of Sànchez, Cuixart and Junqueras

The court will then officially close the hearings and in some months – probably at the beginning of autumn – the verdict will be out.

Right after the last session, it is expected that the defence teams request one more time the release of their clients. Indeed, activist Jordi Cuixart’s lawyers already did it right after the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention‘s calls for their release two weeks ago.

ALSO READ: Lawyer Ben Emmerson: ‘Spain is acting like a rogue State’

If their requests fail, they are expected to ask for their transfer to Catalan prisons, as they won’t need to attend again the Supreme Court, in Madrid, until the verdict day.

If they get guilty verdicts, their lawyers can still take the case to Spain’s Constitutional Court and then the European judiciary.

ALSO READ: Catalan Trial: how might the defence try to refute the charges?

Catalan Trial: click here full details of those accused, the charges, and the accusers.

Click here for all articles and updates on the Catalan Trial

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