03:22 GMT +319 July 2018
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    Catalonia's regional president Artur Mas

    Charges Against Catalan President Over Referendum ‘Politically Motivated’

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    Catalan Vice President Neus Munte said that he strongly believes that Catalonia’s president Artur Mas did not do anything illegal by organising the November 2014 non-binding referendum on Catalan sovereignty.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — Accusations claiming Catalonia’s president illegally authorized and co-organized the non-binding vote on the region’s independence in November 2014 are "politically motivated," Catalan Vice President Neus Munte said Tuesday.

    Earlier in the day, Artur Mas was summoned to Spain's High Court to clarify his role in holding a November 2014 non-binding referendum on Catalan sovereignty. Madrid claims a secession is unconstitutional.

    "We strongly believe that he [Mas] did not do anything illegal," Munte was quoted as saying by the Spanish El Mundo newspaper.

    Catalonia's former Vice President Joana Ortega and Education Minister Irene Rigau were also called to court.

    The legal proceedings were initiated just two days after Catalonia held regional elections. The Together for Yes pro-independence coalition, headed by Mas and their allies from the radical left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party, secured a majority 72 seats in a 135-member local parliament.

    Catalonia has long sought independence from Spain, accusing Madrid of constraining its economic and cultural autonomy.

    Over 80 percent of the two million Catalans who participated in an unofficial November 2014 vote supported seceding from Spain.

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    Artur Mas, Catalonia, Spain
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