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The trial has raced ahead and, within hours of starting, Catalan president Quim Torra has already made his final statement, which he used to defend the right of the Catalan people to pursue independence. He remembered other independence supporters who have been arrested over the last few years and his predecessors, Artur Mas and Carles Puigdemont, who have both been charged over their roles in the movement. He said if found guilty, he will "welcome [it] if it's for defending the rights of all Catalans".

For a quarter of an hour, Torra attacked the public prosecution service and the court: "You can't accept an order which is illegal. You can't be charged over a dilemma, of having to disobey [an order] or fail in your duties". He also defended the right to self-determination: "We Catalans are a peaceful and democratic people. They say we'll break up Europe. It's impossible", he said, describing himself as proud of Catalonia's history, "despite it being a little sad".

"We want to share and culminate our independence process because it's the only option to have our rights respected," he told the court.

"You can find me guilty, but you won't change the legitimacy of those who elected me. You can find me guilty, but you won't change the will of the people of Catalonia. You can find me guilty, but you won't change the destiny of this country," he concluded.

He said, paraphrasing George Washington, "if freedom of speech be taken away, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter."

He ended his closing remarks with a "Visca Catalunya lliure" (Long live free Catalonia). With that, presiding judge Jesús María Barrientos suspended court for sentencing and rang his bell to clear the room.

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