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Spain: Ex-Catalan Pres. Mas defiant as prosecutors seek his 10-yr disqualification02:20

Spain: Ex-Catalan Pres. Mas defiant as prosecutors seek his 10-yr disqualification

Spain, Barcelona
October 3, 2016 at 20:18 GMT -00:00 · Published

Former Catalan President Artur Mas held a press conference, in Barcelona on Monday, following the public prosecutor's request to disqualify him from holding public office for a 10-year period for allegedly staging a vote on Catalonia's secession in November despite a suspension order by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Former ministers Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega, who are facing trial along with Mas, were also present at the press conference. The Spanish prosecutor has reportedly called for nine-year disqualifications for both Rigau and Ortega.

At the press conference, Mas said "organising a trial like this is a farce from many points of view. It's is a coercion from the democratic point of view, and therefore all of us have to defend our democracy in this country."

Catalonia held the poll despite the suspension order from the Spanish authorities that challenged the poll's legality. Mas said the vote was organised by activists.

In November, Catalan lawmakers in Barcelona began a process for seeking secession from Spain, with the aim of achieving political independence by 2017, despite strong opposition from Madrid. In a vote held in the Catalan parliament on 9 November, 72 parliamentarians voted in favour of the resolution for secession from Spain, with only 63 voting against.

Spain: Ex-Catalan Pres. Mas defiant as prosecutors seek his 10-yr disqualification02:20
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Former Catalan President Artur Mas held a press conference, in Barcelona on Monday, following the public prosecutor's request to disqualify him from holding public office for a 10-year period for allegedly staging a vote on Catalonia's secession in November despite a suspension order by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Former ministers Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega, who are facing trial along with Mas, were also present at the press conference. The Spanish prosecutor has reportedly called for nine-year disqualifications for both Rigau and Ortega.

At the press conference, Mas said "organising a trial like this is a farce from many points of view. It's is a coercion from the democratic point of view, and therefore all of us have to defend our democracy in this country."

Catalonia held the poll despite the suspension order from the Spanish authorities that challenged the poll's legality. Mas said the vote was organised by activists.

In November, Catalan lawmakers in Barcelona began a process for seeking secession from Spain, with the aim of achieving political independence by 2017, despite strong opposition from Madrid. In a vote held in the Catalan parliament on 9 November, 72 parliamentarians voted in favour of the resolution for secession from Spain, with only 63 voting against.

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