Ex-Catalan official tells court he is a “political prisoner”

  • A Spanish National Police van, allegedly carrying Catalonian politicians and activists, arrives at the Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. A politically charged trial of a dozen Catalan separatist leaders began Tuesday in Spain’s Supreme Court amid protests and the possibility of an early general election being called in the country. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

A former Catalan official accused of leading a violent rebellion to make Catalonia independent of Spain has told a Madrid court that he considers himself “a political prisoner.”

Oriol Junqueras, who was Catalonia’s vice president when an independence referendum went ahead in October 2017 despite a ban by Spanish courts, is the first of a dozen separatist leaders to testify Thursday in the trial at the Supreme Court.

Junqueras told the panel of seven judges that he is “being accused for my ideas and not for my deeds,” and declined to answer questions by prosecutors.

“I consider myself a political prisoner,” he said.

Presiding Judge Manuel Marchena has said questions could not focus on ideology, but only on facts.

From Fox News.

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