Pro-independence Catalan leaders that flout the law are turning the question of independence into a counterproductive binary of good versus evil.
Carles Puigdemont could be charged with civil disobedience, abuse of office and misuse of public funds for pressing ahead with preparations for the October 1 referendum.
Catalan lawmakers vote in favour of laws approving a referendum and legal framework to set up an independent state in northeastern Spain.
Spain has warned Catalans against holding a referendum vote in September this year. Alfons López Tena – a former Catalan MP – has grown disillusioned with the independence movement as he believes it's been stuck in a "quagmire of wishful thinking."
The trial has further strained relations between pro-independence political parties in Catalonia and Spain's central government as a long-running battle over the region's attempts to hold a referendum on secession reaches a tipping point.
Artur Mas defied an order from the Spanish Constitutional Court by organising a non-binding referendum in 2014 in which the vast majority of Catalan participants voted for independence.
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