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Jailed Catalan leader barred from meeting Spanish king

Supreme Court turns down Jordi Sànchez’s petition to leave jail to take part in post-electoral round of talks

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03 June 2019 01:21 PM

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ACN | Madrid

Spain’s Supreme Court has barred the jailed leader of a pro-independence party from meeting king Felipe VI as part of the customary post-electoral talks, alleging that his non-imprisoned colleagues could easily substitute him.

Jordi Sànchez, an activist turned politician who has spent almost 20 months behind bars in preventive detention, requested to speak with the monarch as the top candidate of Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), the party founded by former President Carles Puigdemont who is currently exiled in Belgium.

Sànchez and four other imprisoned politicians earned seats in the April 28 general election despite being on trial for their role in the 2017 independence bid, which included a referendum and an independence declaration that was shot down by Spain.

While being able to attend the opening session of the freshly elected parliamentary chambers, they were subsequently suspended as MPs and senators.

Laura Borràs, a former Catalan minister and JxCat's number two in the past general election, will attend the meeting with king Felipe on Sànchez's behalf.

"I'll remind him in person of what the Supreme Court might have wanted to prevent [from happening]: that there are political prisoners in his beautiful kingdom," said Borràs.

Pedro Sánchez set to keep his post

Pedro Sánchez is set to keep his post as Spanish president after making big gains in the general election. In the upcoming round of talks with party heads, the monarch is expected to entrust Sánchez to seek parliamentary support to form a new government.

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  • Jailed pro-independence leader Jordi Sànchez at the Spanish parliament (by ACN)

  • Jailed pro-independence leader Jordi Sànchez at the Spanish parliament (by ACN)