06.02.2017 - 13:32
The main Catalan pro-independence associations have mobilised more than 40,000 people this Monday to show their support for former Catalan President, Artur Mas, who faces trial for allowing the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. According to Mas, the summonsing, which also affects former Catalan Ministers Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega is ‘a political trial that has very little foundation in law’ and is therefore regarded as an attack against Catalonia’s pro-independence aspirations and against the citizens’ right to decide. The Public Prosecutor wants Mas to be banned from public office for 10 years and claims that the former Catalan President, Ortega and Rigau ‘were fully aware’ that by preparing the non-binding consultation ‘they were breaking the mandatory rulings of the Spanish Constitutional Court’.
Before entering Barcelona’s High Court, the three accused greeted the crowd, which displayed banners with the motto ‘’We are all 9-N’. Mas, Rigau and Ortega arrived at the court on foot and were joined by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, the Catalan executive and representatives from the previous Government, as well as members of those parties which openly supported the 9N.
The day started with an institutional message from President Puigdemont, who received the three summonsed this morning at ‘Palau de la Generalitat’, the Catalan Government’s headquarters. ‘On the 9-N, 2.3 million people expressed their opinion on the relationship between Catalonia and Spain in a consultation which responded to the compromise between citizens and their representatives’, he stated. ‘Many of us feel tried today and thus we will show our outrage for what we consider a political trial’.
‘The 9-N [symbolic vote on independence] was one of the many messages that Catalonia has sent in the last decade. It was a joyful day with a strong democratic component, and which was full of hope’, emphasised Puigdemont and assured that ‘a country which is able to hold a consultation such as the 9-N has a healthier democracy than that of a country which puts on trial those who made it possible’.