Spanish high court orders 2 seperatist Catalan leaders to be jailed

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 16.10.2017 22:39
Updated 17.10.2017 00:11

The High Court in Spain ordered late Monday the detention for two seperatist Catalan leaders who are under investigation for sedition.

According to Judge Carmen Lamela of Spain's National Court, Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural have been ordered into pretrial detention for their role in agitating for independence. Two other senior law enforcement officials were also questioned along with Sanchez and Cuixart.

The leaders are accused of calling the demonstration outside the Catalan regional economy ministry, which resulted in several Civil Guard police cars being vandalized as officers were trapped for hours inside the building.

Earlier on Monday, Catalonia's police chief Josep Lluis Trapero -- also charged with sedition for his handling of the pro-independence protests and for allegedly failing to stop the referendum -- was granted provisional release by the court.

Each of the three could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

Both the ANC and Omnium blasted the decision to detain their leaders, announcing protests.

Omnium described the decision to remand the pair in custody as "deplorable" and "intolerable in a democratic society".

"The mobilization continues, they will not be able to imprison an entire town," it said.

For its part, the ANC called on protesters to hammer their pots and pans in a traditional "cacerolada" demonstration on Monday night, with a "protest strike" to follow at noon on Tuesday.

The National Court in Madrid is investigating the roles the four played during demonstrations in Barcelona on Sept. 20-21. Spanish police arrested several Catalan officials and raided offices on those dates as part of the central government's crackdown on preparations for an Oct. 1 referendum on Catalan independence.

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