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Charges against 2 Catalan mayors for helping independence

Staff Writer |
The chief public prosecutor in the Catalan region of Spain has filed charges against two mayors for helping to promote and organize the independence referendum due to be held on October 1, that the Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled is illegal.

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Mayor of Vilanova I la Geltru Neus Lloveras, also a member of the Catalan regional assembly and the president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), and Premia de Mar Mayor Miquel Buch, who is president of the Catalan Association of Municipalities (ACM), have been charged with disobedience and the misuse of public funds.

The prosecutor considers they have "clearly" carried out "acts to promote and organize" the referendum and "knew perfectly well the repeated pronouncements of the Constitutional Court."

The referendum "necessarily implies the illegal use of numerous public resources and material and the mobilization of an indeterminable number of people," the prosecutor said.

The Prosecutor has also asked for the AMI and ACM websites to be shut down as they "defend and promote the referendum."

Lloveras and Buch are on the list of 712 Catalan mayors who were called to give evidence by Spanish State Prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza on Wednesday, after signing decrees to allow local authority buildings to be used for the referendum.

Buch defended his position, saying that what he had done was "not a crime, it's the reverse: it's the democracy."

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