Ex-Catalan VP’s lawyer in last bid defence at trial

MADRID: A lawyer for Oriol Junqueras, on trial in Madrid over Catalonia’s 2017 secession bid, said on Tuesday the region’s former vice-president never committed rebellion as charged, though there may have been “disobedience”. Andreu Van den Eynde spoke on what is scheduled to be the penultimate day in the four-month Supreme Court trial of Junqueras and 11 others over a failed attempt to prise Catalonia from Spain in October 2017. Junqueras risks 25 years in jail for misuse of public funds and rebellion, a serious offence which under Spanish law implies a violent uprising.

In a two-hour intervention, Van den Eynde tried to pick apart the prosecutors’ case, arguing that rebellion was being mistaken for “disobedience”. “Everything is exaggeration, everything is noise and this noise… appears in the vocabulary, I wrote it down during the whole trial,” he told the court. “’They were entrenched’, ‘barricades’, ‘human shields’, ‘they gave the starting gun shot’, ‘they had an arsenal’, ‘expressions of hate’, ‘siege’, ‘devastation’,” he listed expressions used by prosecutors. “That’s what the prosecution is saying: bias and exaggeration, and that takes away their credibility.” — AFP