Jailed Catalan leaders summoned to court to discuss precautionary measures
The Supreme Court is to revisit the preemptive imprisonment of ten pro-independence leaders after taking over the case from the National Court
The Spanish Supreme Court summoned jailed pro-independence leaders to appear in court on Friday to discuss their preemptive imprisonment. After taking over the case from the National Court last week, the Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena might be set to revisit the precautionary measures imposed against eight ministers and two civil society leaders for their role in Catalonia’s push for independence.
Before the takeover, Llarena was already the judge presiding over the investigation of those Parliament bureau members who allowed the chamber to vote on independence on October 27. So far, the precautionary measures he imposed have been less severe than those imposed by his counterpart at the National Court, judge Carmen Lamela. While she put ten people in prison, Llarena sent only Catalan Parliament president Carme Forcadell to jail, but was released after paying bail of €150,000.
Llarena decided to revisit the case following allegations by all the lawyers of the accused. The eight ministers were sent to jail on November 2 pending rebellion charges, which carry sentences of up to 30 years.
In turn, pro-independence leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez were imprisoned on October 16 for their role in the demonstrations that took place in Barcelona in the run-up to the October 1 referendum on independence. They currently face charges of sedition.
The ministers’ defense attorneys argue that their clients no longer hold office and therefore there is no risk of them repeating the offense. They were dismissed by the Spanish government, which had triggered Article 155 of the Constitution to suspend self-rule in Catalonia following a declaration of independence.
Some of the imprisoned leaders are running in the December 21 election for pro-independence parties. The defense argues that this should be seen as a proof that they do not present a flight risk.