December 18. This will be the day when the trial against Catalan independence leaders is set to start, when the Spanish Supreme Court will hold initial hearings to determine whether it’s competent to judge the case. The court will meet on Tuesday at 10 am to rule on the defendants’ petition to transfer the case to Spain’s High Court in Catalonia. The nine political prisoners won’t be required to attend the hearing.

Once the Supreme Court makes a decision, defendants will have 10 days to propose witnesses and present evidence for the trial. The next step will be the hearings with Catalan leaders themselves.

In total, 25 Catalan leaders will face trial for their role in the bid for independence. This includes all members of the cabinet that organized a referendum and declared independence, despite Spain’s opposition a year ago.

Violent rebellion?

The most serious offense Catalan leaders are charged with is that of rebellion, a widely contested accusation that implies an “uprising with violence.”

Spain’s public prosecutor has requested a total of 177 years in prison for members of the former Catalan government, as well as for the former parliament speaker and two leading activists.