Spain’s acting Prime Minister called on leaders of Catalonia’s independence movement to repudiate violence in any form as the country braces for protests that could follow the trial of separatist leaders.
“Their error has been total,” Pedro Sanchez told a meeting of Socialist Party officials in Madrid, referring to the leaders of the Catalan independence campaign. “I ask them to condemn any kind of violence.”
The verdict is due soon in a trial of 12 leaders over a bid in 2017 to split Catalonia from Spain, raising the prospect of protests if they are found guilty of charges including rebellion. On Sept. 23, Spanish police arrested nine pro-independence activists on suspicion of terrorism after they were found to have materials that could be used to prepare explosives.
“They want to demobilize us. They want to frighten us. They will not succeed,” Joaquim Torra, the pro-independence president of Catalonia, said on Twitter after the arrests.