Catalan pro-independence leaders to be charged with rebellion without arms or combat
Translation of La fiscalia acusarà els líders independentistes de rebel·lió sense armes ni combat from the CCMA’s 324 website
Spanish public prosecutor to charge pro-independence leaders with “rebellion without arms or combat”
Former Catalan police chief, Major Josep Lluís Trapero, might also face rebellion charge
According to TV3 sources, the Spanish public prosecutor will charge Catalan pro-independence leaders with rebellion so, when the prosecution issues written charges this Friday, the most serious of the charges will be maintained despite recognising that there no weapons were involved.
The same sources also confirm that the pro-independence leaders will be charged with rebellion without arms or combat. Section 2 of Article 473 of the penal code, which sets out the penalties for rebellion, describes circumstances in which “weapons have been used, or if there has been combat between the rebellious force and the sectors loyal to the lawful authority” as aggravating factors.
The Prosecutor has therefore favoured Section 1, which carries less severe penalties, but which can still be high depending on the degree of involvement in action that is determined by the court.
Article 473 of the Spanish penal code
1. Those who, inducing the rebels, have promoted or sustain the rebellion, and its ringleaders, shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment from fifteen to twenty-five years and absolute barring for the same time; those who act as subaltern commanders, with that of imprisonment from ten to fifteen years and absolute barring from ten to fifteen years, and mere participants, with that of imprisonment from five to ten years and special barring from public employment and office for a term from six to ten years.
2. If weapons have been used, or if there has been combat between the rebellious force and the sectors loyal to the lawful authority, or when the rebellion has caused criminal damage to publicly or privately owned property, cutting off telegraphic and telephone lines, the airwaves, railways or any other kind of communications, with serious violence against persons, demanding contributions or diverting the public funds from their lawful investment, imprisonment shall be handed down, respectively, of twenty-five to thirty years for the former and from fifteen to twenty-five years for the second, and from ten to fifteen years for the latter.
Up to 25 years in prison
This would mean potential sentences of:
• 15 to 25 years’ imprisonment in the event the accused were considered heads of the rebellion
• 10 to 15 years in prison for junior commanders
• 5 to 10 years for participants
According to the same sources, it is not clear if the prosecutor will proceed with other possible crimes such as sedition or conspiracy to commit rebellion.
Trapero may face rebellion charge
Tomorrow the charges faced by Mayor Josep Lluís Trapero, Major Teresa Laplana and two high-ranking Ministry of the Interior officials, Pedro Soler and Caesar Puig, will also be made known. As they do not enjoy protection from prosecution, their cases have been investigated by judge Lamela of the High Court. However, the High Court prosecutor will issue written charges on the same day as the Supreme Court. As a unique and hierarchical institution, there is increasing likelihood it will assume the powers to try the same charges as the Supreme Court.
Trapero could well be accused of rebellion for his actions on both 1 October and the 20 September because the crimes are considered the same. Initially, however, the investigating judge, Carmen Lamela, had accused him of belonging to a criminal organization and two counts of sedition, a lesser charge than rebellion.
Possible gesture from the Spanish Government
This Friday, the intentions of the Solicitor General of Spain will also be made clear. Its indictments are of particular relevance. According to some sources, the charges presented might be limited to misuse of public funds. This would be seen as a gesture by the Spanish Government to reduce the tension that exists between the Spanish government with the pro-independence movement.
All this will happen on the anniversary of the imprisonment of most of the Catalan government. All, except Junqueras and Forn, were released in December and in March, only for Rull, Turull, Romeva and Bassa to be returned to prison, along with the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carmen Forcadell.