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13 Catalan Separatist Leaders Charged With Rebellion


Catalan politicians Josep Rull (L) and Jordi Turull arrive together to the Supreme Court after being summoned and facing investigation for their part in Catalonia's bid for independence in Madrid, Spain, March 23, 2018.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge charged 13 Catalan separatist leaders Friday with rebellion and other crimes for their attempt to declare independence from Spain last year.

Issuing the indictment, Judge Pablo Llarena said he would try the Catalan politicians, including fugitive president Carles Puigdemont. The court did not give a date for the trial.

In total, 25 separatist politicians will be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobedience, the judge said in the ruling.

Rebellion charges are punishable with up to 25 years in prison under Spanish laws.

Llarena also requested that 14 members of the previous Catalan regional administration deposit $2.59 million in a bank account to reimburse the money used to hold the October 1 referendum, which courts ruled as illegal, and cover judicial costs.

Catalan politicians (L-R) Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa and Raul Romeva arrive together to the Supreme Court after being summoned and facing investigation for their part in Catalonia's bid for independence in Madrid, Spain, March 23, 2018.
Catalan politicians (L-R) Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa and Raul Romeva arrive together to the Supreme Court after being summoned and facing investigation for their part in Catalonia's bid for independence in Madrid, Spain, March 23, 2018.

Among those charged with rebellion are Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras, former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, separatist activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart and ERC party leader Marta Rovira, who on Friday announced that she was fleeing Spain.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium last autumn after an arrest warrant was issued against him.

On Friday he spoke at an event at the University of Helsinki, criticizing the European Union's silence on "the violation of the European charter of fundamental rights."

Puigdemont said the EU said "nothing when the Spanish authorities started violent repression," in the wake of the Catalan independence referendum.

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