Remaining jailed leaders transferred to Catalan prison
Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull, and Jordi Turull left Madrid jail on Monday
The last remaining leaders jailed in the Madrid region have completed their transferal to a Catalan prison. Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull, and Jordi Turull arrived at the Lledoners centre on Wednesday afternoon, having spent the night in a Saragossa facility.
Around 100 people gathered outside the prison awaiting their arrival at a protest called for by pro-independence group CDR. As the vans carrying the prisoners passed by, the demonstraters chanted "freedom."
Last week, six other incarcerated pro-independence leaders were transferred to penitentiary centres in Catalonia. Until now, relatives had to travel over 700km to the heart of Spain in order to visit their loved ones.
Behind bars since last November
Joaquim Forn alongside the former vice-president Oriol Junqueras and others have been behind bars since November 2. Forn, who has given up his political career, has appealed to be released four times. He argues that as he is no longer involved in politics, he no longer poses a threat. His requests have all been denied, the latest of which was this week.
Speaking on Tuesday in London, his daughter Anna Forn explained that although it would be easier for her to visit him, "for him it is the same, whether he is in Madrid, or whichever prison."
Jordi Turull and Josep Rull were also imprisoned in November, but freed in December after bail was paid. They were locked up again in March this year. At the time, Turull was presidential candidate, but did not make it to the second round of voting to swear him in due to the judicial action.
Now all male leaders will reside in the same penitentiary centre while they await trial. A protest has been organized later in the day outside the Lledoners prison in order to call for their release. Some of them face a possible 30 years behind bars if they are found guilty of rebellion over their role in Catalonia's bid for independence last Autumn.
The female jailed leaders, Carme Forcadell and Dolors Bassa, arrived in Catalonia last Wednesday at 4pm local time. They are now incarcerated in Puig de les Basses, in northern Catalonia.
Oriol Junqueras, former foreign affairs minister Raül Romeva, and activists Jordi Cuixart, and Jordi Sànchez also left the Madrid prisons where they were held last Monday. Their transferral took three days.
A total of 25 individuals are being prosecuted in the independence case, overseen by judge Pablo Llarena of Spain’s Supreme Court. Seven of them are seeking refuge abroad, including the previous president Carles Puigdemont. The judge has called for them to be tried in absentia, but a date for the trial remains to be set.