Madrid accuses Catalan separatists of ‘foul play’ before vote

Madrid accuses Catalan separatists of ‘foul play’ before vote

BARCELONA – Agence France-Presse
Madrid accuses Catalan separatists of ‘foul play’ before vote

Spain’s justice minister accused Catalan separatists of “foul play” on March 22 as they prepared to appoint as new regional leader Jordi Turull, who is under probe over the independence drive and risks jail.

Speaking on Spanish radio, Rafael Catala accused Catalonia’s separatists of seeking “a clash with the rule of law, with institutions” as the region remains without a fully-functioning government after months of turbulence over attempts to secede from Spain.

The speaker of Catalonia’s majority separatist parliament Roger Torrent announced late on March 21 that he was calling an express session for March 22, where lawmakers would vote for the only candidate for the presidency, Turull.

A former Catalan government spokesman, Turull is the third separatist candidate to be proposed following failed bids by Catalonia’s ousted president Carles Puigdemont and jailed pro-independence activist Jordi Sanchez, who withdrew Wednesday.

Turull is under investigation over Catalonia’s secession drive but so far remains free under bail.

This, however, may change on Friday as the 52-year-old and five other separatist leaders under probe are summoned in Madrid before a

Supreme Court judge who will tell them what they are charged with.

The judge will also decide whether or not to remand them in custody pending a trial.