February 12, 2019 / 11:28 AM / 5 months ago

Trial of Catalonia independence leaders a stress test for Spain's democracy: Puigdemont

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont addresses the media in Berlin, Germany, February 12, 2019, as twelve Catalan politicians go on trial for their role in Catalonia's failed 2017 independence bid. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - A trial of 12 Catalan political leaders in Madrid on Tuesday is a stress test for Spain’s judicial system and its democracy, former leader of Catalonia, living in self-imposed exile in Belgium, Carles Puigdemont said during a conference in Berlin.

The political leaders face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for their part in an illegal declaration of independence by the northeastern region in October, 2017.

Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Jesus Aguado

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