Spain’s public prosecutor called for 25 years in jail for Catalan separatists on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.
A statement released by the prosecutor’s office said it sought 25 years in jail for Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras and proposed sentences of up to 17 years for the other eight Catalan politicians.
The nine Catalan politicians were jailed without bail for their role in last year’s failed bid for secession from Spain and remain in custody pending a Supreme Court trial in January.
The prosecutor is seeking lesser charges for nine others accused of involvement in the campaign but who are not in custody.
But the State Attorney, a separate government entity also prosecuting in the case, said the lesser charge of sedition should replace rebellion charges and that it would pursue maximum sentences of 12 years.
The current head of the Catalan regional government, Quim Torra, is due to address the media on Friday afternoon in regards to the prosecutor’s statement.
What is the difference between rebellion and sedition charges in Spain?
Article 472 of the Spanish penal code, rebellion charges are due to “those that rise violently and in public” for things like “declaring independence in a region of the national territory”.
Rebellion is a serious crime that was applied for the last time to some of those who participated in the coup d’etat of February 23rd 1983.
The crime of sedition appears in article 544 of the Spanish penal code, which says that it applied to those who “without committing rebellion, rise publicly to obstruct, by force or illegally, the rule of law or of any authority or public servant, the legitimate exercise of its functions or administrative or judicial decisions”.
The main difference between the two charges is that rebellion must include violence whereas sedition is for those who rise “tumultuously” but not violently.
The term "violence" was introduced in the penal code to replace the old one in 1973. In the old one, the crime of rebellion included a "public rising" but it didn't specify "violently".