The Spanish Supreme Court has officially opened the trial phase for the independence judicial case involving the events including the October 1 referendum and the subsequent declaration of independence. This means magistrates have closed the inquiry and officially send 18 leaders to trial –while other 7 officials who are in exile won’t be tried so far.

The Supreme Court has given five days to the public and private prosecutors to have their final say on the case before the trial takes place. Thus Spain’s solicitor general (representing the government), the public prosecutor and a private one, far-right VOX party, will propose their sentences for the prosecuted officials.

Also today, the defense of Omnium Cultural’s president, Jordi Cuixart, requested that the Spanish Supreme Court remove VOX from the private prosecution against him. In the writ, the defense argues that VOX makes fraudulent use of this judicial mechanism by making electoral propaganda.

Rebellion charges kept? 

The several prosecutors will have to say within this deadline whether they keep the rebellion charges against some of them, which might carry up to 30 years in jail. Some are also accused of misuse of funds, whereas others face disobedience charges.

The Catalan pro-independence parties have urged the Spanish government to take some steps to free the jailed leaders waiting for a trial by asking the public prosecutor to drop charges against them. Vice president Pere Aragonès said last week that Spain’s cabinet could make some gesture because it is part of the prosecutor for the case through the solicitor general.

After visiting the jailed leader of Esquerra party Oriol Junqueras and speaking over the phone with Carles Puigdemont, left-wing Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias has also asked the Spanish president to take some steps if he wants the pro-independence to sit down to negotiate the 2019 budget.

Both Esquerra and PDeCAT are essential for the spending plan to be passed in the Congress, in Madrid.