02:24 GMT09 August 2020
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    On Thursday, Mas appeared before the Catalonia’s high court to answer accusations of civil disobedience and abuse of power by organizing the unofficial November 9 vote, in which 80 percent of participants supported seceding from Spain.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Catalan President Artur Mas accepted responsibility on Thursday for organizing last year’s independence referendum, but said the implementation was carried out by volunteers.

    Madrid claims Catalan secession is unconstitutional.

    "I take full responsibility for the participative day of 9N, no need to look for anyone else," Mas told the judge, as quoted by La Vanguardia newspaper.

    The Catalan president stressed that the process of the executing the vote was in the hands of volunteers.

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

    In September, the pro-independence Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) coalition and their allies from the radical left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party secured 72 seats in the 135-member Catalan parliament in regional elections.

    According to Mas, the victory gave the parties a clear mandate to form an independent state of Catalonia.


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