Jailed pro-independence leaders return to Catalan prisons
Imprisoned politicians will spend summer awaiting verdict in rebellion trial
The nine senior politicians and grassroots leaders remanded in custody after the independence drive have arrived at Catalan prisons on Wednesday following the conclusion of their rebellion trial in Spain's Supreme Court in Madrid.
The former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and former minister Dolors Bassa left the high-security jail at Alcalá-Meco, a suburb of the Spanish capital, on Wednesday morning. The women were brought directly to the Mas d'Enric prison, near Tarragona, and Puig de les Basses prison, near Figueres, respectively.
The men, including ousted vice-president Oriol Junqueras and activists Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, ended their three-day transfer on Wednesday, departing from the Zuera prison in Zaragoza. They briefly rejoined their female colleagues at a transit point near Barcelona, where the Catalan police force took charge of the prisoners.
All the defendants have returned to the prisons where they were held in pre-trial detention for up to 20 months. In the case of the men, that will be Lledoners prison, 70km from Barcelona, which has inadvertently become a symbolic site.
The high-profile pro-independence leaders are expected to spend at least several months in their new cells pending the Supreme Court verdict, and if found guilty of rebellion or sedition, they could remain there for several years.