Interior ministry opens inquiry into jailed candidates over election messages
Spanish authorities to decide whether Junqueras and Sànchez broke rules by campaigning from prison
Spain’s interior ministry opened official inquiries on Monday into former vice president Oriol Junqueras and former ANC president Jordi Sànchez, both of whom are standing in the upcoming Catalan election despite being held in prisons in the Madrid region.
The investigations into Junqueras and Sànchez, who are candidates for the Esquerra (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxCat) tickets respectively, come after both men took part in election campaign messages from prison, where they await trial for rebellion and sedition.
“He is not allowed to communicate with his family, to show his support for president Puigdemont”
Elsa Artadi · Together for Catalonia campaign director
The Rac 1 radio station broadcast an interview with Junqueras on Monday, while an audio message from Sànchez was played at a JxCat campaign event on Friday. The ministry will now decide whether to punish the men for using lines of communication meant for private contact to issue political statements.
Sources in the prison service say that Junqueras has admitted using a telephone call to a friend to conduct the brief interview that was played on the radio on Monday. Junqueras has the right to talk to family members by phone, although the calls must last no longer than five minutes.
As for Sànchez, he recorded a message played at Friday’s JxCat campaign event in Barcelona. As reported by Catalan News, Sànchez’s campaign manager claimed on Monday that communication with the candidate had been cut. “He is not allowed to communicate with his family, to show his support for president Puigdemont,” said Elsa Artadi on Twitter.