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Aware of Catalonia unilateral independence

Aware of Catalonia unilateral independence”

Today, Catalonia's Regional Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero is to appear before the National Court in Madrid on sedition charges.

His Mossos d'Esquadra force is accused of failing to protect Spanish national police from protesters ahead of the 1 October independence referendum.

But on Friday, Enric Millo, the government's official representative in Catalonia, said in a television interview: "When I see these images, and more so when I know people have been hit, pushed and even one person hospitalised, I can't help but regret it and apologise on behalf of the officers that intervened".

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered a suspension of Catalonia's parliamentary session next week during which the region has said it might declare independence and further fuel Spain's worst crisis in decades.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will speak in the regional parliament next Tuesday, a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Friday.

On Thursday, Banco Sabadell - one of Catalonia's largest lenders - announced it will move its headquarters from the region as it becomes more likely the Catalan government will declare independence. The separatists were considering a declaration of independence unilaterally in the course of this session.

The "sedition" hearing took place at the national criminal court in Madrid.

There has been no relaxation in the tension with a strong message from King Felipe VI of Spain accusing Catalan authorities of breaking the Spanish Constitution and their Autonomous Status "in a repeated and systematic manner" and in showing "inadmissible disloyalty to the powers of the state".

"Parliament will discuss, parliament will meet".

The crime of sedition carries a potential prison term of up to 15 years. "Every attempt the Spanish government has used to impede things to happen, they have been demonstrated completely not only useless but counter-productive", he told the BBC in English.

Over 2.2 million Catalonians, or 42% of the region's electorate, voted overwhelmingly to separate from Spain last Sunday in a referendum that was dismissed as illegal by Spain's central government.

On Wednesday, in a televised address, Puigdemont renewed his call for mediation in the dispute but said the results of the referendum would have to be applied.

The court also summoned the leaders of two prominent Catalan pro-independence civil groups involved in the demonstrations, Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural and Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), and another senior Catalan police official, Teresa Laplana.

Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders have said they are not afraid of going to jail over their independence bid.



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