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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Spanish Judge Rejects Release of 4 Jailed Catalan Separatist Figureheads

MADRID – A judge at Spain’s Supreme Court rejected on Monday a petition for the release of four imprisoned Catalan separatists, including former regional vice president Oriol Junqueras, but agreed to set bail for six others at 100,000 euros ($118,635).

Junqueras, the sacked vice president of Catalonia; the ex-regional interior minister, Joaquin Forn; and the heads of two pro-Catalan independence organizations, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, were ordered to remain in preventative prison by Judge Pablo Llarena, who has taken on the sedition and rebellion investigation into the ousted politicians.

Six former members of the Catalan government who were also detained in the wake of the region’s illegal declaration of independence can be released on a bail of 100,000 euros.

The accused petitioned for their release last week on the argument that they all accepted the measures adopted by the Spanish government that stripped Catalonia of its autonomy, scrapped the regional government, dissolved the parliament and called snap elections.

Sanchez and Cuixart, who have come to be known as the “two Jordis” in Spanish press, led the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly and Omnium Cultural, respectively.

The detained were leading figures in the Catalonia separatist referendum in early October that was deemed illegal by the Spanish courts.

They were placed under investigation for accusations of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds following the unilateral declaration of independence several weeks after the ballot, which prompted the central government to trigger the hitherto dormant Article 155 of the Constitution and take control of Catalonia’s autonomous institutions.

The ousted former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, is facing the same accusations, but finds himself in self-imposed exile in the Belgian capital of Brussels, where a judge was set on Monday to examine an extradition request submitted by Spain.

 

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