Trial of separatist Catalan President Quim Torra begins
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    Trial of separatist Catalan President Quim Torra begins

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    The trial of the separatist regional President of Catalonia Quim Torra opened on Monday amid tensions in this Spanish region. Torra is prosecuted for disobedience when he refused to remove separatist symbols from public buildings.

    The prosecutor called for 20 months of ineligibility. Such a sentence would prevent Torra from remaining President of the region in the north-east of Spain; a region that is in turmoil since the mid-October sentencing of nine separatist leaders to long prison sentences for their part in the attempted 2017 secession. 

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    The reasons for which Torra, who was close to former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, date back to March. The Spanish electoral authority then ordered Torra to remove pro-independence symbols from public buildings to ensure institutional neutrality during April’s parliamentary election campaign. 

    A banner on the front bench of the Catalan government in Barcelona with the slogan “Freedom for political prisoners and those exiled,” which included a yellow ribbon, was targeted in particular. The yellow ribbon is used by separatists to demand the release of their incarcerated leaders.

    The Brussels Times