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12 Feb, 2019 13:50

12 Catalan separatist leaders go on trial in Madrid over failed independence bid

Twelve Catalan separatist leaders went on trial in Madrid on Tuesday over a failed independence bid that triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades. Flanked by hundreds of police, demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court, where the defendants face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds, which they all reject. A lawyer defending two of the accused said they had the right to seek independence for their region, Reuters said. The politically charged trial is expected to last at least three months. A snap national election is likely unless Catalan nationalist lawmakers change tack by ending their opposition to the 2019 budget in a vote on Wednesday.