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Spain’s far-right Vox party: Catalan sentences not harsh enough

Santiago Abascal (centre), leader of Vox party, and Javier Ortega Smith, secretary general of Vox, arrive at court in Madrid on 12 February 2012 (Juan Carlos Rojas / via ACN)

The Spanish far-right Vox party that acted as ‘popular prosecutor’ in the Catalan Trial, has expressed disappointment with the verdict, claiming the sentences are not harsh enough.

Vox had asked that the jailed pro-independence leaders be jailed for rebellion rather than the lesser crime of sedition – and had called for 74 years in jail for Oriol Junqueras. He finally received a sentence of 13 years.

The far-right group claimed that with the verdict, the ‘Supreme Court has lost a historic opportunity to send a message of confidence in institutions.’ Vox are to contest the sentences, claiming the charge of rebellion should still stand.

ALSO READ: Spain’s right and far-right unite at Madrid rally

Other political parties have urged for the verdict convicting the independence leaders to be respected.

The Catalan Socialists (PSC) urged for a new era following the sentence, stressing that it is the ‘result of error from the independence camp and the failure of politics.’

The People’s Party (PP) in Catalonia also spoke about the sentence, urging Spain’s acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez to guarantee ‘order and safety’ and to trigger the Law of National Security ‘if it is necessary’ ahead of the Catalan independence camp’s response.

Anti-independence group Catalan Civil Society urged people to respect the prison sentences of the 9 jailed leaders.

The far-right Vox party’s lawyers during the Catalan Trial.

ALSO READ: Catalan Trial focus: ‘popular prosecution has no equivalent elsewhere in EU’

The body believes that the court has been ‘completely transparent’ in the case, and which allowed for public evaluation and identification of the ‘very serious’ facts of the case.

‘They were an explicit attempt to break constitutional order and Spanish democracy,’ and opened the door in Catalonia to internal ‘conflict’.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Ciudadanos (Cs) party, Albert Rivera celebrated victory for the ‘good people, the democrats, those who defend democracy’, stating that ‘justice has been served’ for the political leaders.

ALSO READ: EU event: Catalan trial is ‘thanks’ to far-right Vox

He has also called for a meeting to analyse ‘what to do’ in Catalonia, ahead of the protests called together after the sentence.

The People’s Party (PP) leader in Spain, Pablo Casado, also praised the role of the Supreme Court: ‘We have seen that the institutions work, that impunity does not exist, and that anyone who tries to disrupt the harmony and prosperity of the Spanish people is punished.’

Click here for all articles and updates on the Catalan Trial

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