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Ex-vice president and foreign minister exhaust all sedition conviction appeals in Spain

Divided top court upholds sentence Junqueras and Romeva now likely to challenge in Strasbourg

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23 March 2022 03:29 PM

by

ACN|Barcelona

A divided Spanish Constitutional Court rejected former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras as well as ex-foreign minister Raül Romeva's appeal against the sedition convictions handed down to them by the Supreme Court in late 2019 for their role in the independence push.

While both were pardoned by Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez last June after spending around three and a half years behind bars, including a lengthy pre-trial detention period, Junqueras had received a 13-year sentence and Romeva a 12-year one.

The two politicians, both of left-wing pro-independence Esquerra Republicana, are now likely to challenge this decision in the European Court of Human Rights as other formerly imprisoned Catalan leaders have done before them: Jordi SànchezJordi CuixartJosep Rull, and Jordi Turull.

Former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell's appeal was also rejected by the same top court in October, but she is yet to challenge her conviction in Europe as she suggested she would.

Magistrates are set to make an announcement regarding the challenges brought forth by Joaquim Forn and Dolors Bassa on Thursday. As Wednesday's decision was not unanimous - only six magistrates were in favor of rejecting the appeal, while three were against it and another three did not vote at all - the upcoming vote is expected to be similar. 

Nine Catalan politicians and activists were sentenced to up to 13 years behind bars for organizing the 2017 independence referendum deemed illegal by Spain but were released just under a year ago in what the Spanish PM described as an attempt to foster reconciliation. 

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  • Esquerra Republicana's Raül Romeva, left, and Oriol Junqueras at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 6, 2021 (by Natàlia Segura)

  • Esquerra Republicana's Raül Romeva, left, and Oriol Junqueras at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 6, 2021 (by Natàlia Segura)

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