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> Mayor of Barcelona 7 February 2019 Me Jean-Ciaude Junever President European Commission Brussels Dear Present, [As Mayor of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, | am wating to convey my concern as ‘well as that of the insittion | represent, regarding the Wal of twelve pro-independence leaders which is dua o start on 12 February. ‘This is an anomalous situation in Europe, given the poltical conlton of those on tral inembers of parliament. ministers from the previous Catalan government and cv society leaders and the serious crimes which they stand accused of ~rebelion and Sediton— carrying prison sentences of upto 74 years. Addtionally there isthe case of ' Spanish exreme right party could be fraudulently using the private prosecution Inthe ta fo spread its dedogy of hatred and obtain electoral gains. ‘Athough | am nat an independence supporter, nor do | share many of the decisions of the previous Catalan government, believe that ths tal sa politcal flasco, placing the ‘space for dialogue and negotlalon In danger and entrusting an eminently paltical problem to be deat wth by the courts. Moreover, Ifthe tal end In gully verdes and Sentences it wil not help {0 reassess Cataloia’s postion within Spain, but It wil instead serve to exacerbate division and hamper the constuction of @ negotiated solution, Furthermore, | believe thatthe pretrial incarceration violates the righ of the accuaed te prapare an effecive defence, and the crimes they are accused of are completely isproportionate, as deemed by various inernatonal human rights organisations, given that they have neither instigated the Catalan people or the government to commit any Violence, as some European State law cout have acknowledged. As such, we cannt Ignore the fact that we are faced with a poltical confict, and that the best way to _36dra8s this is by strengthening dialogue instigated recently, * ‘Mayor of Barcelona | would also tke to tae tis opportunity to present you withthe Institutional Declaration ‘which was approved by the majorty of polical forces. of Barcelona City Council ‘demanding a fir and impartial al with full guarantees, caling forthe accused to be Teleased ftom custocy 20 that they ean prepare thei defence, and to aid the task of International observers Lastly, | would tke 1 inform you that | have invited a group of members from the European Pariament to follaw the tial on 20 February. This is not merely an infernal alfa of the Spanish Stat, The consequences of ths trial are of interest fo European insttutons as a whale, and wil have repercussions both on pital stablty ~curently Under threat from ths new rise of xenophobic populism and the ful recognition of hhuman rights and democratic freedoms which, for aver 62 years, have been a beacon