Sunday 21 October 2018

Catalan secessionist must stay in prison for vote in region’s parliament

Spain’s Supreme Court has refused to release Jordi Sanchez ahead of the vote which could install him as his region’s president.

Catalonia's parliament in Barcelona (Manu Fernandez/AP)
Catalonia's parliament in Barcelona (Manu Fernandez/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Spain’s Supreme Court has turned down a request from a jailed Catalonia separatist leader to attend the region’s parliament, where politicians are due to vote on whether to make him president.

Judge Pablo Llarena wrote in a ruling that there was a risk that Jordi Sanchez would repeat the offences that have landed him in jail.

He ordered Mr Sanchez kept in preventive detention without bail.

Mr Sanchez, a prominent secessionist who was elected to parliament last December, has been held in a prison near Madrid since October.

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Yellow ribbons signifying jailed Catalan politicians in Barcelona (Manu Fernandez/AP)

He is being detained while Mr Llarena investigates whether he orchestrated protests that hindered officials trying to stop a court-banned Catalan independence referendum that month.

Catalonia’s parliament wants to vote on Mr Sanchez as leader on Monday in the latest confrontation with the Spanish government, which argues that anyone who is facing charges and is unable to be present at the debate and vote cannot be elected by the Catalan parliament.

It is not clear whether Mr Sanchez would have enough votes to be elected in Barcelona.

The Spanish Constitution said Spain is “indivisible”, but that has not stopped separatists trying to break away despite repeated legal setbacks.

Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia’s ex-leader who fled to Brussels to escape arrest, announced last week that he was temporarily withdrawing his bid to get his old job back and proposed Mr Sanchez, his number two in the Together for Catalonia party, in his place.

Press Association

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