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02:48

Spain: Thousands rally in support of Catalonian independence leaders as trial ends

Spain, Barcelona
June 12, 2019 at 23:11 GMT +00:00 · Published

Demonstrators flooded the Catalonia Square in Barcelona to follow the end of the four-month trial of 12 Catalan independence leaders on a big screen on Wednesday.

Protesters gathered to show support for the leaders on trial. Scores of banners reading "Acquittal" or "We will do it again" could be seen among the crowds.

Member of the Parliament of Catalonia Elsa Artadi, who was among the protesters, said about the trial: "We've seen that the state and the prosecutor's office didn't care about the testimonies and the evidence."

Also present at the demonstration was the President of the Catalan National Assembly Elisenda Paluzie, who stated that the trial "will bring shame on Spain and degrade its image and its democratic quality in front of the whole world. This trial has one objective, it's to end with a political movement, the Catalan independence movement which is peaceful and democratic, and whose objectives are perfectly legitimate. The message that we have to tell them is that they won't reach this objective, that we've decided to keep going, we have decided not to go back."

Nine of the defendants, including former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras, face charges of rebellion, which carry sentences of 25 years. Others were charged with sedition and the misuse of public funds. While the trial reached its end, a verdict is not expected for several months.

02:48
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Demonstrators flooded the Catalonia Square in Barcelona to follow the end of the four-month trial of 12 Catalan independence leaders on a big screen on Wednesday.

Protesters gathered to show support for the leaders on trial. Scores of banners reading "Acquittal" or "We will do it again" could be seen among the crowds.

Member of the Parliament of Catalonia Elsa Artadi, who was among the protesters, said about the trial: "We've seen that the state and the prosecutor's office didn't care about the testimonies and the evidence."

Also present at the demonstration was the President of the Catalan National Assembly Elisenda Paluzie, who stated that the trial "will bring shame on Spain and degrade its image and its democratic quality in front of the whole world. This trial has one objective, it's to end with a political movement, the Catalan independence movement which is peaceful and democratic, and whose objectives are perfectly legitimate. The message that we have to tell them is that they won't reach this objective, that we've decided to keep going, we have decided not to go back."

Nine of the defendants, including former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras, face charges of rebellion, which carry sentences of 25 years. Others were charged with sedition and the misuse of public funds. While the trial reached its end, a verdict is not expected for several months.

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