Spanish Supreme Court gives two working days to Puigdemont government members after prosecuting all of them for misuse of funds
The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered all former Catalan cabinet members to pay 2.13 million euros. Carles Puigdemont and all his former ministers have been given two working days to gather around 150,000 euros each, that means they will have time until the middle of next week to meet the judge’s demand. Otherwise, they will face confiscation of assets, said the judge in a decree on Friday. The reasons given include making sure that any fines which could result from the upcoming trial are paid.
All of them were prosecuted on March 23 for misuse of funds for allegedly having paid for the October 1, 2017 referendum with public money. Nine out of these 14 former officials will also have to face trial for rebellion. While the former crimes might carry up to eight years in prison, the latter might result in up to 30 years behind bars. The indictment of these 14 leaders and 11 other pro-independence politicians and activists was confirmed on Wednesday.
The Spanish Supreme Court rejected the appeals to avoid trial made by the Catalan leaders involved in the pro-independence judicial case on Wednesday. This way the 25 politicians and activists investigated are officially being prosecuted for several different crimes, including rebellion for 13 of them, something that might carry up to 30 years in jail. The ones not in exile will be judged in a trial expected to take place next autumn. The Spanish penal code states that individuals prosecuted for rebellion and in pre-trial jail are automatically suspended from public office until the verdict is out.
MPs could be stripped of their seats
The Spanish Supreme Court has to release a decree making it official –if so, that would mean that five jailed leaders are suspended as MPs, including the former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras and four deposed ministers. Depending on how the law is interpreted, exiled officials Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín could also temporarily lose their seats in Parliament.
Transferring jailed leaders to Catalan prisons
The Spanish government has begun the process to transfer jailed pro-independence leaders from prisons in the Madrid area to penitentiaries in Catalonia, following requests from imprisoned politicians who want to be closer to home. So far, Supreme court judge Pablo Llarena has greenlighted the transferal of two activists, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, as well as former parliament speaker, Carme Forcadell, and former ministers Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa.