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Saturday, May 25, 2019

The independence trial is a "historical error", says the Catalan minister

The independence trial is a "historical error", says the Catalan minister
Supreme Court judges in Spain have told the lawyers of the 12 leaders of Catalan independence that their trial will end on June 11, but each of them will only be allowed 15 minutes to make their final statements.

The official statement was delivered yesterday to the defense team and means that the trial will end after almost four months of evidence.

However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Catalonia, Alfred Bosch, said that it was only ending because it was damaging the image of Spain abroad.

In exclusive statements to The National, he said: "It is clear that Spain wants to finish this essay as quickly as possible because they know that this essay is damaging the image of Spain."

"That's why we've seen these marathon sessions in the courtroom, following these completely unbalanced schedules.

"We have seen how international experts and observers have criticized the way in which the Supreme Court of Spain has carried out the trial, calling it a political trial."

"Now we have to wait for the phrases. But as we have seen how the process has developed so far, it is difficult to be optimistic.

"This trial is a historical error, you can not pretend to solve a political problem in the courts or in the cells of the prison."

Bosch's feelings were echoed by Scottish lawyer Aamer Anwar, who described the time limit as "horrible".

He said: "It seems horrible to me that people facing up to 30 years in prison should be restricted to 15 minutes of closing statements.

"Shortening your final statements to that time limit is unacceptable for a trial that has lasted several months, where the prosecution has received most of its requests while the defense was denied, in essence, the right to mount a defense.

"Many of the international observers consider that the trial is an abuse of the human rights of prisoners and their right to a fair trial. From beginning to end, the trial has been condemned for abusing the right to a fair trial, and the process described as politically motivated is dictated by judicial vengeance.

"It is ironic that the prosecutors of the extreme right-wing party Vox have been elected to the Spanish parliament along with several of the political prisoners, however, Spain still claims that the trial can be impartial."

"Having seen the trial I do not have faith that justice is done in Madrid, it is inevitable that this case ends in the European Courts of Justice."

Test sessions next week have been devoted to "documentary evidence", the last phase before the final comments of the defense.

Under the Spanish legal system, anyone can become a co-defendant, or "public prosecutor," to participate in such trials. As such, Vox representatives have been sitting with state prosecutors at all times.

Plaid Cymru's deputy, Hywel Williams, who chairs the Parliamentary Group of All Parties (APPG) in Catalonia, was in the Madrid court yesterday and told The National that his presence was strange: state prosecutors looked official, although sensibly unpleasant. Most of the tests were technical, focused on the administration of the referendum, expenses, and things. "

He added that the accused appeared to be in a good mood: "I had a brief conversation with Oriol Junqueras and some of his relatives, although the police prevented us from approaching the prisoners. The prisoners certainly did not seem to be diminished and were quite happy in general. "