Spain's high court docket mentioned Thursday it will open an investigation towards Catalan separatist chief Carles Puigdemont on expenses of “terrorism” over protests linked to Catalonia's failed 2017 independence bid.

The Supreme Court docket mentioned it had determined “to analyze and, the place crucial, prosecute” Puigdemont “for terrorism offenses in relation to the Democratic Tsunami case”.

The Democratic Tsunami is a secretive Catalan group that led a collection of protests after Spain jailed 13 pro-independence leaders, two years after their botched try to separate the rich northeastern area from Spain.

Led by Puigdemont, who was Catalan regional chief on the time, the failed independence bid sparked Spain's worst political disaster in a long time.

Though Puigdemont fled Spain to keep away from prosecution, his fellow leaders had been placed on trial and on the day his sentence was pronounced in October 2019, hundreds of activists blocked entry to Barcelona airport for a number of hours

The unprecedented protest brought on the cancellation of greater than 100 flights and 115 folks had been injured throughout clashes between police and protesters.

In its determination, the court docket referred to the crime of “road terrorism.”

The goal, he mentioned, was to “undermine legislation and order, to significantly violate the peace, to trigger severe harm to the functioning of a global group or to trigger a way of terror within the inhabitants or a part of it “.

There was “proof indicating the participation of Carles Puigdemont within the occasions underneath investigation”, he added, citing his involvement within the creation of the group “to subvert legislation and order and to significantly destabilize democratic establishments” .

– Puigdemont emotionless –

Puigdemont, who lives in self-exile in Brussels and is a member of the European Parliament, reacted dryly.

“The identical day they accuse me of receiving a 7,000 euro Rolex watch, they accuse me of being a terrorist. All I want is a secret checking account in Panama,” he wrote on X, earlier than Twitter.

He was referring to an article revealed within the newspaper El Confidencial that mentioned he had been given a Rolex watch by an organization behind a collection of separatist occasions, together with the Democratic Tsunami protests.

The court docket's determination complicates the lifetime of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose leftist minority authorities depends on Puigdemont's JxCat separatist celebration for parliamentary assist.

The Spanish authorities is at present within the means of drafting an amnesty legislation that has been demanded by Puigdemont's celebration in trade for essential parliamentary assist in a November vote to re-appoint Sanchez as prime minister.

The invoice, which was shot down by parliamentarians on the finish of January, is at present being redrafted, however will basically supply amnesty to these wished by the justice system for the failed independence bid, notably Puigdemont.

The spokesman of JxCat, Josep Rius, accused the Supreme Court docket of “descending into the political area and attempting to intervene with the desire of the legislator”, an allusion to the amnesty invoice that have to be submitted to a brand new vote within the parliament quickly.

“In no case the free train of the suitable to display will likely be known as terrorism, and we wish to make this very clear,” he mentioned at a press convention in Barcelona.

The deliberate amnesty has sparked fury amongst Spain's right-wing opposition, which sees Puigdemont as public enemy primary.

It additionally sparked opposition from Sanchez's Socialist celebration.

Puigdemont is already wished in Spain for his function within the secession bid, and the courts want the permission of the European Parliament to query him on this newest case.


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