Catalan chief on trial over display of secessionist symbols

The pro-independence regional president of Catalonia is standing trial for allegedly disobeying Spain’s electoral board by not removing pro-secession symbols from public buildings during an election campaign

Quim Torra could be declared unfit to hold public office for a period of time if found guilty in the trial.

The board said the ribbons were "tools of political propaganda" that violated campaign laws.

Several hundred supports and fellow politicians accompanied Torra as he arrived at the court in Barcelona, the Catalan regional capital.

Torra, who is fervently in favor of Catalonia’s independence from Spain and its right to self-determination, told the court he did not believe that the electoral board had the right to order him to remove the symbols.

If he is convicted and declared unfit to hold public office, Catalonia would likely have to call a new regional election.

Torra refused to answer prosecutors’ questions and only replied to questions by his defense lawyers.

Spain’s constitution rules that the country is indivisible.