SIX politicians who are facing charges of “disobedience” for their part in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum are to have their cases heard at the High Court in Catalonia (TSJC).

However, the Spanish Supreme Court (TS) has, as expected, confirmed its own competence to hear the cases of a dozen other high-profile pro-independence figures who are facing more serious allegations of rebellion and misuse of public funds.

They include former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, grassroots leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, former speaker of the Catalan Parliament Carme Forcadell and other jailed ex-ministers.

Their lawyers had sought to have their trials heard at the TSJC, arguing that if any crime was committed it was committed in Catalonia, so should fall within the remit of the Barcelona court, but the TS rejected that argument.

The court accepted petitions from those accused of disobedience - former MP Mireia Boya, and ex-members of the parliament bureau Lluís Guinó, Ramona Barrufet, Lluís Corominas, Joan Josep Nuet and Anna Simó.

A total of 18 people will face trial next month for their parts in the independence bid, which led to a declaration of independence.

As the TS has now published its determination, it starts the 10-day deadline today for lawyers to submit their defences, despite them having asked for more time to prepare them.

There is speculation in Catalonia that the court proceedings could start by the last week in January and could last as long as three months.

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Meanwhile, Catalan President Quim Torra has spoken of the dignity witnessed among the Catalan people during the tumultuous events of the past year.

He was speaking at the tomb of President Francesc Macià, to whom Torra referred as the “first president of the Catalan Republic”, on the 85th anniversary of his death.

Torra said of Macià: “With one word, dignity, he was able to remove consciences.”

He continued: “This has been the year of dignity, dignity from prisons and from exile and, above all, the dignity of a people aware of having the firm will to carry out their determination of the referendum on October 1.”

He added, as Macià had said to all Catalan citizens: “We have confidence in ourselves, in the hope that this country will be free and that it has a splendid future in front, a future of democracy, peace and justice.

“We reserve the forces to continue forward, always going forward to achieving the freedom and independence of Catalonia.”