As the Catalan referendum trial comes to an end, after three and a half months of proceedings and testimony from more than 400 witnesses, Spain’s attorney general’s office hasn’t moved an inch from its initial accusations. The public prosecutor confirms the charges of rebellion against most of the defendants on trial, who have already spent more than a year in jail, and requests prison sentences of up to 25 years for organizing a referendum in late 2017 and subsequently declaring independence despite Spain’s opposition.
In total, the attorney general requests prison sentences totalling 177 years for the 12 pro-independence leaders accused, including a 25-year jail term for Oriol Junqueras, the vice president at the time of the vote and the highest-ranking official on trial. The prosecutor also requests 17 years in jail for the parliament speaker at the time, Carme Forcadell, as well as for activists Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, and a 16-year jail term for former ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Dolors Bassa, Raül Romeva, and Joaquim Forn.
The solicitor general’s office, representing the Spanish government, is also standing by its initial demands of between 7 and 12 years in prison for sedition. The sentences proposed by the solicitor general in total amount to 116.5 years in jail, although it continues to rule out the charge of rebellion. Meanwhile, the private prosecutor representing the far-right Vox party is keeping to its initial demands of 74 years in prison for the former ministers, and 62 years for Sànchez and Cuixart. Yet, Vox reduced its demands regarding Santi Vila, who resigned as a minister before the independence bid, reducing the charges to disobedience, which carries no prison sentence.