Catalan separatist refuses to answer prosecutors at trial

The lead defendant in the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders, former regional vice president Oriol Junqueras, refused to answer…

The lead defendant in the trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders, former regional vice president Oriol Junqueras, refused to answer prosecutors’ questions in court on Thursday.

“I am being persecuted for my ideas and not for my actions… I will not answer questions from the accusers,” he said as he took the stand in Spain’s Supreme Court in Madrid for the first time.

Junqueras faces 25 years behind bars if he is convicted of rebellion and misuse of public funds for pushing an independence referendum in October 2017 in defiance of a court ban.

The referendum was followed by a declaration of independence by leaders in the northeastern region, which sparked Spain’s worst political crisis in decades.

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