Vice president of the Catalan government Oriol Junqueras received the longest sentence, 13 years. Ministers Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa were given 12 years. Catalan Parliament President Carme Forcadell was given 11,5 years. Ministers Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn received 10,5 years. Civil society leaders Jordi Sànchez (Catalan National Assembly) and Jordi Cuixart (Òmnium) were sentenced to 9 years.
All of them were sentenced for sedition, after the Court understood that the pro-independence leaders encouraged a “tumultuous uprising” against Spanish authorities with the aim of breaking up from Spain.
Junqueras, Romeva, Turull and Bassa were also found guilty of misuse of public funds.
The nine sentenced leaders have been held in pre-trial detention for almost 2 years.
Junqueras’ party Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) released an audio of his leader in which he says the ruling “is not justice, but revenge.” He adds that “today there are still more reasons to be in favour of independence […]. They are ruling against democracy.”
Ministers Santi Vila, Carles Mundó and Meritxell Borràs were found guilty of disobedience and received fines and bans on holding office. They will not serve a prison sentence.
‼️ MISSATGE D'ORIOL @junqueras DES DE LLEDONERS:— Esquerra Republicana (@Esquerra_ERC) October 14, 2019
"Estic emprenyat i indignat. Segur que a fora també ho esteu. Això no farà pas que abandonem els valors republicans. Avui tenim més motius per voler la #independència i per seguir defensant la justícia, la llibertat i el progrés" pic.twitter.com/rfnQprenwL
New arrest warrant for Puigdemont
Meanwhile, then-Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, another four ministers (Clara Ponsatí, Toni Comín, Meritxell Serret and Lluís Puig) and another two independence leaders (Anna Gabriel and Marta Rovira) are exiled in Belgium, Switzerland and Scotland.
The Spanish media said that judge Pablo Llarena issued today another international arrest warrant for Puigdemont, based on the sentence against the other nine pro-independence leaders. A previous attempt to have the Catalan president in exile extradited to Spain failed after a court in Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein decided not to hand him over to the Spanish authorities over rebellion charges, but only on misuse of public funds.
Catalan president: sentences “unfair, antidemocratic”
Catalan President Quim Torra reacted to the verdict by saying that the sentences are “unfair and antidemocratic” following a “political trial” targetting “Catalonia’s right to self-determination.”
▶️ #Presdident@QuimTorraiPla: “El Govern i jo rebutgem aquestes sentències, per injustes i antidemocràtiques, per formar part d’un judici polític i d’una causa general contra el dret a l’autodeterminació de Catalunya a i l’independentisme" pic.twitter.com/LjAsfoBTFB— Govern. Generalitat (@govern) October 14, 2019
Spanish president: trial with “every guarantee,” no will on the Spanish government for pardon
Spanish President Pedro Sánchez, who is seeking another term in the upcoming Spanish legislative election of 10 November, said that the trial had “every guarantee” to be considered fair. Sánchez added that the Spanish government has for now “no will” to consider a pardon for the nine jailed leaders.
Protests launched in Catalan cities, airport
Almost immediately after the verdict was announced, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of several cities in Catalonia to protest the jail terms. Some streets in Catalan capital Barcelona have been blocked by demonstrators, as have been several railroads.
Pro-independence civil society groups are announcing “weeks-long” protests against the sentences.
The most massive protest so far is the popular mobilization at Barcelona Airport, where thousands of protesters are seeking to block the facility. Increasingly collapsed as the hours go by, some flights are being canceled while others are delayed.
This picture posted by Catalan news site Vilaweb shows the massive concentration of protesters at the airport premises:
FOTO impressionant: L’aeroport de Barcelona, col·lapsat per milers de manifestants https://t.co/6h1uoQ8pdC— VilaWeb (@VilaWeb) October 14, 2019
Catalan police charged with batons against protesters at the Barcelona Airport metro station who were seeking to reach the terminals:
A few hours later, Spanish and Catalan police charged again several times against protesters. Several were injured, including reporters wearing journalist's armbands:
Spanish police charge at Catalan protesters who tried to block Barcelona Airport in protest over jail terms to independence leaders. Grassroots associations say "weeks-long" protests are to come: https://t.co/nsYhHuJPTOhttps://t.co/2sx1pYo5sK— Nationalia (@Nationalia) October 14, 2019
The call to block the airport was voiced by highly decentralised movement Democratic Tsunami, as the first of several protests in the coming days and weeks:
Ha arribat l'hora de fer sentir la nostra veu al món!— Tsunami Democràtic (@tsunami_dem) October 14, 2019
Objectiu: aturar l'activitat de l'Aeroport de Barcelona
Ens ho intentaran impedir i només amb #LaForçaDeLaGent ho aconseguirem! pic.twitter.com/wy7AunxyEh
Meanwhile, main pro-independence grassroots group Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is calling for a “massive response” against the sentence. Several marches are being planned later this week.
URGENT: Tothom al carrer!— Assemblea Nacional (@assemblea) October 14, 2019
L'Estat espanyol condemna el dret a l'autodeterminació.
Ha arribat l'hora: responem massivament. Siguis on siguis, atura't, surt al carrer, fes-te sentir!
Atent als nostres canals!
Més que mai, #ObjectiuIndependènciapic.twitter.com/VyWERnvOxB
Groups of demonstrators concentrated in front of Òmnium’s headquarters in Barcelona.
Les persones concentrades davant la seu nacional d’@omnium expressen la seva indignació davant la sentència injusta als nostres líders socials i polítics #HoTornaremAFer— Òmnium Cultural (@omnium) October 14, 2019
Vine al carrer Diputació, 276 de Barcelona. Quan s’acabi la junta extraordinària farem una marxa al TSJC! pic.twitter.com/M6MQ5tvlsu
The Committee for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), a network of highly decentralised pro-independence local groups, called for a “people’s revolt” against “the authoritarian fascism of the Spanish state.”
La vostra sentència serà la vostra condemna.— CDR Catalunya (@CDRCatOficial) October 14, 2019
És l'hora d'alçar-nos contra el feixisme autoritari de l'estat espanyol i els seus còmplices.
És l'hora de la #RevoltaPopular.
Responem amb desobediència, poder popular i República!#CDRenXarxapic.twitter.com/vE5SiEabZI