MADRID — Spain’s Supreme Court is expected to issue a verdict Monday in the controversial case of 12 Catalan leaders over their role in a failed 2017 independence bid that sparked the country’s worst political crisis in decades. Tension has been mounting steadily ahead of the ruling with police sending reinforcements to Catalonia where separatists have pledged a mass response of civil disobedience, calling for rallies, roadblocks and a general strike. The 12 defendants, most of them members of the former Catalan government, are facing long prison terms for their role in the banned October 1 referendum and the short-lived independence declaration that followed it. Following a high-profile trial which ended in June, judges at Spain’s highest court will issue their decision on charges ranging from rebellion and sedition to disobedience and misappropriation of funds. Former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras is the main defendant after his boss, Carles Puigdemont, fled to Belgium to avoid prosecution. The government is hoping the long-awaited ruling will allow it to turn the page on the crisis in this wealthy northeastern region where support for independence has been gaining momentum over the past decade. But the separatist movement is hoping for just the opposite: that… Read full this story
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