It’s been a tumultuous few years for Oriol Junqueras, the Catalan professor who became vice-president of a regional government that tried to break away from Spain and who is now preparing to take centre-stage at a major trial. The paunchy politician could face 25 years in prison for his role in Catalonia’s 2017 secession bid. As the main protagonist of the high-profile trial that opens Tuesday in the absence of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who fled Spain, Junqueras is one of 12 separatist leaders in the dock. The 49-year-old is charged with rebellion and misuse of public funds. Published in Daily Times, February 12th 2019.