Artur Mas to stand trial for Catalonia’s 2014 independence referendum

MARTA PEREZ

Catalonian regional President, Artur Mas, offers a press conference at the Government's headquarters after his statement before the judge at the Superior Court of Catalonia, 15 October 2015. Mas appeared before a Spanish court to answer charges he held an illegal referendum. The head of the regional government, who would like Catalonia to break away from Spain and form an independent state, held an unbinding independence referendum in November 2014 despite a ban issued by the Constitutional Court.

Artur Mas to stand trial for Catalonia’s 2014 independence referendum


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The Catalan High Court (TSJC) decided on October 13 to prosecute former Catalan premier Artur Mas, who left office in January 2016.

His former deputy premier and education secretary are also accused as collaborators in the organization of an illegal referendum.

Mas is accused of organizing an informal independence referendum in November 2014. At the time, the referendum took place despite a legal injunction by the Constitutional Court and opposition from the Spanish government.

Catalans went to the polls and voted for independence.

The former Catalan premier had since argued that he did, in fact, abandon the organization of the referendum when the legal injunction was issued, on November 4, leaving “volunteers” to take over for the elections on November 9.

On October 13, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mas and his aides organised the referendum fully aware they were defying a constitutional veto.

The case made by prosecutors was founded on the supply of government equipment for the organization of the referendum. That includes the supply of thousands of laptops on November 7 and 8, ahead of the referendum on November 9.

Mas is for years the face of the Catalan secessionist movement. If found guilty, the former Catalan premier will be barred from running for office for a decade.

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