Junqueras reiterates his commitment to “peaceful ways” in court
The magistrates’ decision will be released after today, but Spanish prosecutor requests he remain in prison
The hearing to decide whether to release Oriol Junqueras or to keep him behind bars finished a few minutes before the 1 p.m. It started at 10:30 in the morning and lasted more than two hours. Now, magistrates Miguel Colmenero, Alberto Jorge Barreiro and Francisco Monterde will decide on Junqueras’ freedom. Their decision on Junqueras’ appeal will not be released today.
Committed to "dialogue and bilateralism"
The first to speak at the hearing was Oriol Junqueras’ lawyer, Andreu van den Eynde, who defended the appeal filed to the Spanish Supreme Court. Van den Eynde argued that Junqueras’ party, Esquerra Republicana, based their campaign on "genuine" support for "dialogue and bilateralism". He also said that Junqueras’ right to political participation must be guaranteed, as he was elected as an MP in the last election.
The Spanish prosecutor also spoke at the hearing, as well as the deposed Catalan vice president, who was also able to say a few words at the end of the proceedings. As his attorney had already argued, Junqueras asked to be released to be able to exercise his right to political participation, to act as an MP elect, voted for during the December 21 elections.
Oriol Junqueras also asked to be allowed to see his family again, from whom he’s been separated since he was incarcerated on November 2. During his speech, the minister also reiterated his commitment to do politics on a base of “dialogue, negotiation, and pacts,” which he backed with his “moral, personal and Christian” convictions.
Junqueras’ lawyer criticizes prosecution but is confident in his client’s rights
The Spanish prosecution, as represented by attorneys Consuelo Madrugal and Javier Zaragoza, however argued that Oriol Junqueras was likely to repeat the crime and should therefore be kept in pre-trial detention. However, van den Eynde criticized those who argued for the deposed vice president to be kept in prison for not discussing the true issue at hand, and wanting to “advance the judgement” itself. Junqueras’ defense stated that the summons was only to address his client’s personal situation, not his upcoming trial.
“What the Spanish prosecution did was to advance the judgement, I suppose their subconscious betrayed them because the only thing they want to do is judge Junqueras,” he stated at the doors of the Supreme Court. Yet, the defendant’s lawyer also said he trusts that the courtroom magistrates will base their decision on “technical issues.” “I’m confident that his rights can be guaranteed,” Van den Eynde assured the press, adding that his client “sees freedom within his reach” after being able to speak to the magistrates directly.
If, however, the decision is made to keep the deposed vice president in prison, Van den Eynde stated that he will continue to request freedom for Junqueras “at all levels.” He also added that if his client is to remain incarcerated, they will be requesting a transfer to a penitentiary center in Catalonia, so that Junqueras will be able to attend parliamentary plenaries. “It would be unlikely to think that a precautionary measure for someone who is not guilty and in a trial that’s just begun could alter the composition of a legislative chamber,” the attorney stated.
Currently, the three magistrates are deliberating and it is as of yet unknown when the decision will be made.