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Jailed MPs demand right to equality before law

In their latest petition for freedom, three pro-independence leaders denounce their imprisonment while politicians abroad are free


02 August 2018 02:49 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Jordi Sánchez, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull, three members of the Catalan parliament jailed for their role in the independence bid, have asked Spanish courts to end their pre-trial imprisonment.

The move comes after the Supreme Court rejected their latest petition for freedom last week—the first time such a decision was made by the magistrates who will judge them, rather than by the judge in charge of the investigation phase.

In a new effort to leave jail, the MPs’ defense team asked the court to either let them go free or impose alternative measures—for instance, leaving prison on bail and without a passport.  

In total, there are nine pro-independence leaders preemptively imprisoned, including former ministers, the former parliament speaker, and two grassroots activists. They all face criminal charges of rebellion for calling a referendum and declaring independence, despite Spain’s opposition.

In last week's decision, the magistrates followed a similar criteria to the one laid out by judge Pablo Llarena during the investigation stage he was presiding over: jailed leaders should not leave prison due to the “gravity of the offenses for which they were indicted.”

Sánchez, Rull and Turull urged the Supreme court to elevate their case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), in order to assess whether their imprisonment violates their right to equality before the law, since pro-independence leaders abroad also accused of rebellion are currently free.

The Supreme Court decided to withdraw all extradition orders for Catalan politicians in other European countries after Germany rejected to extradite ex-president Carles Puigdemont for the crime of rebellion, but only for misuse of funds.


  • MPs Jordi Turull (left) and Josep Rull (by Bernat Vilaró)

  • MPs Jordi Turull (left) and Josep Rull (by Bernat Vilaró)