Spanish govt reforms sedition law in nod to Catalan allies

Dec 21, 2022, 3:53 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2022, 6:05 am

MADRID (AP) — Spain on Thursday sealed final approval for controversial reforms to the crimes of sedition and embezzlement, a move by the ruling center-left coalition to retain the support of a pro-independence Catalan party and ease tensions in the northeastern region.

The package passed by a majority of senators scraps the crime of sedition for one of public disorder and reduces sentences for some embezzlement convictions. It was already passed by an ample majority in the lower house.

These two issues angered the main right-wing opposition Popular Party and other opposition groups who see them as intolerable concessions to groups that tried to break up Spain in an illegal secession push in 2017.

They claim the changes are also a cynical move to appease the pro-independent Catalonia party ERC that shores up the government’s voting power in Parliament and had requested the changes.

Many pro-Catalan independence politicians and officials — many from the ERC — who face trial over, or have already been convicted for, the attempt at secession could stand to benefit from the proposed changes.

Sedition, on the books since 1822, and embezzlement were among the main charges against nine of 12 pro-independence Catalan activists and politicians who were convicted for their roles in a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain issued on Oct. 27, 2017, following an illegal secession referendum earlier that month.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez issued partial pardons of the nine separatists last year, releasing them from prison after they had spent three years behind bars serving sentences that ranged between nine and 15 years. They are, however, still banned from holding public office.

Sánchez said the reforms brought Spain in line with other European democracies. He denies the reforms are a concession to secessionists, but agrees they will help ease tensions between Spain and the northeastern region.

The secession push was Spain’s most serious political crisis for several decades.

Sánchez said the reform wouldn’t exempt former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his associates who fled the country in 2017 from eventually standing trial if they return, albeit for a crime with a lower sentence.

Sedition was punishable by 10 to 15 years in prison The crime of aggravated public disorder holds punishments of three to five years behind bars. It also reduces the time span for bans from holding public office.

The embezzlement reform introduces a reduced sentence of up to four years for cases where no personal profit of the accused is detected. If there is personal profit, sentencing remains the same at between eight and 12 years.

____

Raquel Redondo in Madrid contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in Nov. 2022, a...
Associated Press

News groups ask Idaho Supreme Court to reject University slayer gag order

Thirty news organizations have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a gag order in a case against a man accused of stabbing four students to death.
22 hours ago
FILE - The company logo highlights the grille of a 2021 Tacoma pickup truck on display in the Toyot...
Associated Press

Toyota reports 8% drop in Oct-Dec profit, keeps forecast

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota reported a 8.1% drop in fiscal third quarter profit Thursday, as a global shortage of computer chips and soaring raw material costs battering the auto industry hit Japan’s top automaker. Toyota Motor Corp.’s October-December profit totaled 727.9 billion yen ($5.6 billion), down from 791.7 billion yen the previous year. The company […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Wednesday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= District Tournament= Class 1A District 2= King’s 76, Summit Sierra 37 Northwest School 50, Bear Creek School 34 Overlake School 69, Eastside Prep 32 Seattle Academy 69, Sultan 59 Class 1A District 7= Colville 48, Newport 43 Deer Park 69, Riverside 45 Class 1B District 4= Columbia Adventist Academy 52, Pe Ell […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Wednesday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= District Tournament= Class 1A District 1= Lynden Christian 70, Meridian 36 Nooksack Valley 98, Blaine 21 Class 1B District 2= Evergreen Lutheran 29, Crosspoint Academy 27 Puget Sound Adventist 49, Pope John Paul II 21 Sound Christian 45, Northwest Yeshiva 30 Class 1B District 7= Inchelium 60, Wilbur-Creston 39 Odessa 58, Curlew […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman takes the stage at an election night party in Pittsburg...
Associated Press

Sen. John Fetterman hospitalized after feeling lightheaded

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democrat who suffered a stroke during his campaign last year, was hospitalized Wednesday night after feeling lightheaded while attending a Senate Democratic retreat, his office said. Initial tests at George Washington University Hospital did not show evidence of a new stroke, Fetterman’s communications director, Joe Calvello, […]
22 hours ago
People warm up with fire in front of destroyed buildings in Antakya, southern Turkey, Wednesday, Fe...
Associated Press

Death toll in Turkey, Syria earthquake surpasses 15,000

GAZIANTEP, Turkey (AP) — The death toll from the catastrophic earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria rose to more than 15,000 as more bodies were pulled from the rubble of collapsed homes in the stricken zone, Turkey’s disaster management agency said Thursday. The agency said 12,391 people had been confirmed killed in Turkey after Monday’s […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Spanish govt reforms sedition law in nod to Catalan allies