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Jailed activist granted 72-hour leave despite prosecutor's opposition

Judge rejected prosecutors claims arguing inmates are not obliged to 'regret or declare themselves guilty'

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11 February 2020 02:18 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The jailed activist Jordi Cuixart has been granted a 72-hour leave despite Spain's prosecutor opposing on January 31.

A court supervising the activity of Catalan jails accepted the pro-independence leader's request on Tuesday, meaning he will leave the penitentiary for the second time after having already enjoyed a 48-hour leave.

The prosecutor had sided against it, arguing he has failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the offenses for which he was imprisoned and has shown no remorse.

Cuixart, who is serving a nine-year jail term for sedition for his role in the 2017 independence bid, often uses the phrase "ho tornarem a fer" (we will do it again), including in his meetings with prison psychologists, and he has not signed up to any prison treatment programs.

The judge rejects the prosecutor's arguments saying that the penitentiary regulations do not oblige inmates to "regret or declare themselves guilty" for the crimes they have been convicted of.

What's more, the magistrate states that phrases like "ho tornarem a fer" are merely "an expression of a political or ideological thought."

Daily leave to work, up in the air

While Cuixart will be able to enjoy his second leave, it is yet unclear whether he will be able to leave prison five days a week to work, as he has also requested.

The authorities at Lledoners prison granted him that permission, provided in Article 100.2 of Spain's penitentiary regulation.

Yet, the same prison supervision court requested for the prosecutor to make a report with their views on it before taking a decision.

If the prosecutor accepts the permission, the court will not oppose. Otherwise, Cuixart's lawyers will have a say and the judge will subsequently decide on the matter.

The other leading pro-independence activist behind bars, Jordi Sànchez, requested a similar leave consisting of three days a week for some volunteer work.

Seven politicians with a relevant role in the 2017 independence push are also serving a sentence for sedition, and some of them or even all of them could ask for similar regular leaves.

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  • Jordi Cuixart in a pro-independence rally in 2017 (by ACN)

  • Jordi Cuixart in a pro-independence rally in 2017 (by ACN)

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