Spanish Supreme Court rejects appeal against MPs suspension
Judges say jailed politicians committed "serious" acts aimed at "changing the territorial limits of Spain"
The Spanish justice system has denied an appeal by jailed politicians against their suspension as MPs.
The court of appeals of the Spanish Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to dismiss the appeals of former vice-president Oriol Junqueras and former ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva and Jordi Sánchez, who were suspended as MPs by a judge for their role in the independence referendum.
Although they were all democratically elected in the December 21 election, the judges argued that they committed "serious" acts and their suspension is legally acceptable.
The Spanish Penal Code allows the suspension of individuals from public office prosecuted for rebellion, but the MPs defence contested that this only applies in cases of terrorism. The judges did not agree and maintained the suspensions.
According to their reasoning, the MPs committed "serious" acts aimed at "changing the territorial limits of Spain and the EU" even "with the possible help of violence."
The Catalan parliament and government do not consider the MPs as officially suspended, although the chamber withdrew their salaries. The issue has proven a controversial one even amongst pro-independence parties.
Some accept they should delegate their vote to other colleagues while others are in favour of disobeying the courts and allowing them to vote.
The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont should also be formally suspended as an MP, according to the Spanish Supreme Court. However, his party rejects this. According to Catalan president Quim Torra, voters are the ones deciding who should be MPs, "not judges."
Parliament is not meeting until October, so the issue is now frozen until parties agree on how to proceed.