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Catalan police chief to appear before Spanish court in sedition probe

The chief of Catalan’s regional police force was set to appear in a Madrid court on Friday as part of a probe into alleged sedition against the state in the lead up to Catalonia’s independence referendum which was deemed illegal by Spain.

The Mossos d’Esquadra forces, led by Major Josep Lluis Trapero, are facing accusations of not protecting members of the Spanish Civil Guard during a raid on the Catalan Finance Ministry prior to the referendum.

The incidents took place on Sept. 20 when a large group people surrounded the building while Spanish police searched it for referendum material on a court order.

Apart from Trapero, the presidents of two of Catalonia’s most powerful pro-independence organizations, Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly, and Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural, would also give statements.

National Court judge Carmen Lamela summoned the Catalan officials as part of an investigation into possible sedition, which is punishable by 8-15 years in prison under Spanish law.

The prosecution is unlikely to ask for a prison sentence for the Mossos chief, though it will wait for his testimony to end before taking a decision on possible punitive measures, official sources told EFE.

The Mossos have already said that Trapero will say that the Catalan police strictly adhered to court orders and the state prosecutors in its actions regarding the referendum of Oct. 1.

The presidents of the national assembly and the Ominum have also said they will testify.

The media attention around the hearing and possibility of clashes between those for and against Catalan independence has led to a large police deployment outside the National Court in central Madrid.

(Source: EFE)

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