The Catalan president, Quim Torra, believes that a potential guilty verdict for the jailed political and civic leaders for the 2017 referendum would open a new phase in Catalonia that would “culminate” in independence. “If our colleagues are convicted, we will act accordingly. We will again exercise all the rights that we have been denied”, he said.

In his opening conference of the new political term on Thursday in Madrid, Torra insisted he will not “accept” a guilty verdict, and laid out some of the key lines of the potential response from Catalonia that he intends to lead, including civil disobedience, non-violence, and cooperation among the institutions.

Torra ruled out a snap election as a response, arguing that after such a verdict, Catalonia would need to “strengthen” its institutions. As he mentioned some days ago, Torra also called for a “democratic, peaceful confrontation” with Spain, without going into detail on what this would mean. When being asked about the possibility of calling a new independence referendum, he said that the independence camp needs to “find consensus” on how to exercise the right to self-determination.