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Spanish court dismisses appeal by jailed Catalan leaders

Bassa, Forcadell, Romeva, Rull and Turull entered prison on March 23, and were just denied freedom while awaiting trial

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17 May 2018 02:29 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Spain’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Catalan leaders imprisoned while awaiting trial over rebellion charges for their role in the independence bid. Judges refused the jailed leaders’ appeal for freedom alleging that they pose the risk of repeated offence and fleeing the country.

Deposed ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa and former Parliament speaker Carme Forcadell were sent to prison on March 23, after Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena indicted them in relation to last October’s referendum and declaration of independence. They had all also previously spent time in jail on November 2, but were subsequently released.

The Spanish court turned down their appeal, arguing that pro-independence leaders are backed by an “economically consistent” organization with “international contacts,” which allowed some of their colleagues to seek refuge from prosecution abroad and “maintain an apparently normal life outside Spain.”

There are currently nine Catalan leaders in jail, including two activists who were incarcerated on October 16, as well as deposed vice president Oriol Junqueras and deposed home affairs minister Joaquim Forn, who are being held behind bars since November 2.

So far, seven pro-independence leaders have left Spain to seek refuge in different European countries, including the deposed president Carles Puigdemont, in Germany. On Wednesday, Belgium rejected Spain’s extradition of three deposed ministers over form irregularities.

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  • Deposed Catalan ministers Josep Rull (left) and Jordi Turull arrive in Spain's Supreme Court on March 23 (by Javier Barbancho)

  • Deposed Catalan ministers Josep Rull (left) and Jordi Turull arrive in Spain's Supreme Court on March 23 (by Javier Barbancho)