23 May 2019

Spain charges ex-Catalan police chief with sedition

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Spain’s National Court has charged the former chief of police in Catalonia with sedition over his role in the northeastern region's independence push. reports citing Reuters.

In an indictment issued Thursday, Judge Carmen Lamela said Josep Lluis Trapero, who used to serve as Mossos d'Esquadra chief, was part of an organization that sought to separate Catalonia from Spain.

The indictment said seeking secession was forbidden because the Constitution says Spain is “indivisible.”

Trapero was a key figure in maintaining peace in Catalonia during events that led to a referendum on the region’s independence on October 1, 2017. However, he later quit the police force when Madrid dismantled the regional government in Catalonia and imposed its direct rule on the region. Spanish authorities demoted Trapero because he had resisted their calls to help prevent the referendum.

Spain has brought charges of sedition against key figures behind the independence drive, including former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who is now in jail in Germany pending a ruling on his extradition to Spain.

The indictment against Trapero is another blow to those trying to keep the independence momentum in Catalonia.

A new regional parliament that was formed after snap elections in December and is dominated by separatist parties is seeking to renew the independence drive by electing Jordi Sanchez, Puigdemont’s deputy in the Together for Catalonia party, as new regional leader.

Puigdemont sent an open letter from prison on Thursday, calling on members of the Catalan parliament to make another attempt to elect Sanchez. Sanchez is now in jail in Madrid and the Spanish Supreme Court has refused to free him to attend a parliamentary session for leadership vote.

Puigdemont himself was barred by Madrid from re-election. The former Catalan leader, who declared independence in late October based on the results of the controversial referendum, fled to Belgium along with four of his cabinet members. He was arrested in Germany last month after entering from Denmark.

2018.04.05 / 22:10
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