October 14, 2019 / 6:08 AM / a month ago

Timeline: Key dates in Catalonia's independence bid

(Reuters) - Spain’s Supreme Court is expected to announce on Monday its verdict for 12 Catalan separatist leaders tried for their role in a 2017 independence bid.

Supporters of Catalonia's independence hold an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) as they gesture during a protest against upcoming ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court against the independence movement's leaders, in Barcelona, Spain, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Below is a timeline of the key events since the separatist leaders held an independence referendum in Catalonia that had been banned by courts.

Oct. 1, 2017 - About 2.3 million people turned out for the referendum - around 43% of eligible voters - with 90% voting to break away from Spain, according to the Catalan government, as many opposed to independence boycotted the ballot.

Spanish police wielded batons at crowds attempting to vote.

Oct. 16, 2017 - Spain’s High Court ordered the jailing of the leaders of two of the largest separatist organizations, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, on sedition charges.

Oct. 27, 2017 - A majority of Catalan lawmakers - 70 out of 135 - voted to recognize the result of the referendum and declared Catalonia an independent nation. In response, Madrid imposed direct rule on the region, dissolving the parliament and dismissing regional leader Carles Puigdemont, who subsequently fled to Belgium.

Nov. 2, 2017 - A Spanish judge ordered the pre-trial detention of former Catalan deputy leader Oriol Junqueras and eight other former counselors on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

Dec. 21, 2017 - In regional elections called by Madrid, separatist parties jointly won a narrow majority in the Catalan parliament.

June 2, 2018 - Socialist Pedro Sanchez was sworn in as Spain’s prime minister after ousting his conservative predecessor through a confidence vote in parliament. Madrid’s direct rule over Catalonia ended the same day with a new regional cabinet sworn in.

Feb. 12, 2019 - The Supreme Court trial of 12 separatist leaders began in Madrid.

April 28, 2019 - Sanchez won a snap election that had been triggered by his failure to pass a budget, but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

Sept. 23, 2019 - Spanish police arrested nine pro-independence activists on suspicion of planning acts of violence to coincide with the Supreme Court verdict.

Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Joan Faus, Ingrid Melander and Frances Kerry

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