Jailed pro-independence leaders to arrive in Catalonia on Wednesday
Relocation of six out of nine politicians imprisoned in Madrid underway; transferral of three others already approved
Six pro-independence leaders who have been jailed in the Madrid region for months will arrive in Catalonia on Wednesday, after their requests to be transferred to penitentiaries closer to home were granted, according to sources from Spain's interior ministry.
The leaders being transferred include former Parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, in prison since March 23 for her role in the independence bid, as well as former vice president Oriol Junqueras and ex-ministers Dolors Bassa and Raül Romeva. Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez, two activists jailed since October 16, will also be moved to prisons in Catalonia.
Bassa and Forcadell spent Monday night in Alcalá Meco, the women's penitentiary in Madrid where they have been held behind bars for more than three months. Meanwhile, Romeva, Junqueras and the two activists spent the night together in another Madrid prison.
Romeva, Junqueras, Sànchez and Cuixart arrived in the prison of Zuera, in Zaragoza, on Tuesday. Bassa and Forcadell will be moved from Madrid tomorrow. Spain's police will hand them to the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, in Catalonia’s Brians II prison.
Once in Brians II, Forcadell and Bassa will then be transferred to Figueres prison on Wednesday. The four male leaders will be moved to the Lledoners prison in Sant Joan de Vilatorrada.
Turull, Rull and Forn to be transferred to Catalonia too
Spain's Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena confirmed on Tuesday that the three politicians still in Madrid—former ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn—could be transferred to Catalonia too.
As the investigation phase of the case against independence leaders comes to an end, Llarena does not need them to stay in Madrid. The ultimate decision on whether to transfer them to Catalonia is up to the Spanish government, in control of penitentiary centers.
The main opposition party in Catalonia, unionist Ciutadans (Cs), is not in accordance with the move. "The penitentiary policy of this country can never be an object of political negotiation to get into the Spanish government," said Cs leader Inés Arrimadas. "And this is exactly what Mr Sánchez has done."