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1. Reader @Ousitotraveller asks for more information about this, where @HywelPlaidCymru asks the Speaker, John Bercow, about Carme Forcadell, and the incorrect narrative that she is in jail "for allowing a debate on independence". Let us look briefly at what the courts have said.
2. As we go through this, note that Forcadell was Speaker of the Catalan regional parliament, which is not sovereign, for two years, from October 2015-October 2017. Previously, she was chairwoman of the pro-independence and very powerful Catalan National Assembly (ANC).
3. I shall just take two of the multiple court documents, the ruling sending them to trial from last March, and a ruling from May which rejected their appeals. Let's see what they say about Forcadell.
4. The first mention of Forcadell is in her previous position as chairwoman of the ANC. Remember that the investigating judge and prosecutors believe this was a long-term strategic plan to illegally separate the region of Catalonia from the Kingdom of Spain.
5. In March 2015, according to the first investigative ruling, Forcadell, as chairwoman of the ANC, took part in the strategic meeting during which it was agreed upon the process would be organised and undertaken, a route map towards independence.
6. It was agreed that the regional elections in September 2015 would be a plebiscite on independence from Spain. A vote for separatist parties would be a vote for an immediate start to the transition, and the proclamation of a Catalan republic within 18 months.
7. Two weeks later, in April 2015, the ANC, still under the leadership of Forcadell, published a document containing the strategic aim of "unity of action for parties and pro-independence bodies". And on the same page comes a key quote…
8. "…the ANC would oversee compliance with the resolutions of the Catalan Parliament related to driving the process forward", with special attention paid to "the immediate proclamation of independence if the YES vote won".

The ANC, an unelected body, would oversee compliance.
9. On November 9, 2015, the first resolution of the new regional parliament, with Forcadell now as Speaker, was to announce a "non-subordinate constituent process" and the start of the process to create the independent Catalan republic. Remember this is two years before 2017.
10. Spain's Constitutional Court took less than a month to strike that resolution down, ruling on Dec 2, 2015 that the Catalan regional parliament "was attributing to itself a sovereignty greater than that which derives from the autonomy recognised in the Constitution".
11. "…the regional chamber could not set itself up as a source of legal and political legitimacy, to the point of awarding itself the power to breach the constitutional order that upholds its own authority"
12. Despite that ruling, the Catalan Parliament, under Forcadell, set up a commission for independence anyway. The Constitutional Court ruled THAT unconstitutional in July 2016, because it breached the first ruling from December.
13. The Constitutional Court warned the Speaker's Committee in the regional chamber, including Foracdell, that it had a duty to stop any such initiatives and obey the court.
14. Forcadell ignored the court rulings and order to stop, putting the conclusions from the independence committee to a vote with a resolution on July 27. The Constitutional Court declared THAT unconstitutional in October, and again told her, personally, to stop it.
15. Two days before that ruling, on October 4, and despite the previous multiple orders to stop, the Catalan Parliament, led by Forcadell, kept going, processing a new resolution on a referendum on independence and the creation of the new state.
16. The new resolution was about "the right of Catalonia to self-determination" and told the regional government, led by Puigdemont, to get on with organising the vote. The parliament created a committee to oversee the process.
17. As you might be about to guess by now, the Constitutional Court, in February 2017, declared that resolution unconstitutional, and AGAIN warned Forcadell, personally, to stop, and reminded her of her duty to PREVENT it all happening.
18. Before we continue, you can see where the Supreme Court is going with all of this. Forcadell repeatedly, over the entire two year period, blatantly ignored MULTIPLE Constitutional Court rulings and orders NOT ONLY to stop but to PREVENT others from continuing.
19. Just three days after the new Constitutional Court order, Forcadell and the Catalan Parliament kept going anyway, passing the regional budget bill with money for the vote on independence. THEN, on July 31, 2017, they tabled the referendum on self-determination bill.
20. This is where it starts to get more directly related to what you saw on TV in October 2017. The bill said the Catalan people were sovereign and included the question for the vote: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?".
21. That bill also contained the key clause on how separatists were planning to interpret the results of their illegal vote: if there are more yes votes than no votes "the result implies the independence of Catalonia" and the regional parliament will sit to declare independence.
22. On August 28, 2017, a second bill was also tabled, for the "legal transition" of Catalonia into a new independent republic, and dependent on the result of the vote described in that clause of the referendum bill.
23. Now, this next bit is very important: senior Catalan Parliament lawyers, who are on the witness list for the trial, told Forcadell that IT WAS ALL ILLEGAL and that she should not go ahead with it, that she had a duty to STOP IT. She went ahead anyway, on September 6.
24. On Sept 6-8, the regional parliament debated the two bills, and most non-separatist MPs walked out in disgust and protest.

Separatist MPs passed the bills anyway. The court suspended the bills effects, and the stage was set for the vote on October 1.
25. On September 7, additionally, the Catalan Parliament named an electoral commission for the illegal vote, also opposed by government lawyers before the Constitutional Court, which suspended its effects immediately.
26. On October 10, 2017, Puigdemont went before the regional chamber and said he was up for turning Catalonia into an independent republic and, after that session, separatist MPs "signed a declaration of independence".
27. On October 27, the motions to declare independence and to begin the transition to the new republic were tabled. The current Speaker, Roger Torrent, proposed a secret vote. The vote passed 70 in favour, 10 against, 2 abstentions. (PP, Ciudadanos and PSC didn't take part).
28. The October 27 vote, writes the investigating judge, included the declaration of "the constitution of the Catalan republic, as an independent, sovereign state".
29. So, whatever happens in the trial, and of course Mrs. Forcadell will have the change to defend herself, and whatever the verdict is in the end, she is CERTAINLY NOT being tried just for "allowing a debate on Catalan independence" as @HywelPlaidCymru announced in the Commons.
30. THANK YOU for reading, and for your support of independent reporting, the facts and the search for the truth about what is going on in Spain. Join here:
235. Olé. Muchas gracias por leer.
236. One by one, one investor in the truth, one champion of the facts after another, you are all together doing something very great and guaranteeing the independence of this reporting on the real Spain. Thank you.
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