Spain speeds up legal process against dismissed Government and Parliament bureau

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Spain’s Supreme Court and National Court are speeding up the judicial process against the dismissed Catalan government members, the president of the dissolved Parliament, and members of its bureau, due to testify on Thursday and Friday against charges of rebellion, sedition, and misappropriation of funds. They are facing possible prison sentences of up to 30 years.

20 senior Catalan officials have been summoned to appear before the courts, including Carles Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras, Carme Forcadell, president of the dissolved parliament, and more. They must be there at 9 in the morning for a hearing at 9:30 at the Supreme Court. It is still not known in what order they will make their statements.

Defence lawyers have denounced the speed at which the legal process is going, criticizing the fact that the court summons were given with only 24 hours notice, and calling it a violation of fundamental rights.

The judge of the Spanish National Court of Justice, Carmen Lamela, summoned the dismissed government to testify on both days, giving them three days to pay a bail of 6,207,450 euros. The judge, who sent the presidents of ANC and Omnium Cultural to jail and is also investigating the ex-chief of the Catalan police Josep Lluís Trapero, has warned that precautionary measures will be asked for.

While many of the dismissed ministers have confirmed that they will go to Madrid to appear before the court, including some of those who had accompanied Carles Puigdemont, to Belgium, the dismissed Catalan president and four other ministers have asked to testify from Brussels.

Puigdemont’s lawyer has confirmed that this is possible, stating that he will challenge any case of extradition requested by Spain.

In a statement, the “legitimate” Catalan government says it is facing a “political trial”. Dismissed ministers say they face potential prison sentences as a “way to denounce the situation of democracy” in Spain and a call “in favor of freedom”. In the statement, seen by ACN, the sacked government adds that ministers and president Puigdemont are facing “disproportionate” sentences –of up to 30 years- similar to crimes such as terrorism or assassination.