Public prosecutor appeals low category status for Turull, Rull, and Bassa

Privileges for five other jailed independence leaders were stripped earlier this week

Dolors Bassa leaves prison on July 29, 2020 (by Marina López)
Dolors Bassa leaves prison on July 29, 2020 (by Marina López) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 30, 2020 12:59 PM

The public prosecutor has appealed against the low category status for three more of the leaders jailed for their roles in the 2017 independence referendum, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, and Dolors Bassa. 

The move comes just days after a judge suspended the same privileges for five other of the jailed politicians and activists - Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Jordi Sànchez, Quim Forn, and Jordi Cuixart.

The low category status was granted to and came into effect for all of the jailed independence leaders around two weeks ago, and permits them to leave their cells on the weekends and during weekdays, returning to sleep there Monday-Friday. 

According to the prosecutor, giving them this category creates "a sense of impunity."

From now on, prison authorities will have to study each of their situations on a case by case basis before conceding privileges such as outings. 

Catalan government responds to suspension

Responding on Tuesday night to the court's decision to revoke the privileges of the first five independence leaders, Catalan president Quim Torra called it an act of "vengeance" and warned the Spanish government, which he views as being behind the move, that it must "demonstrate a desire to end hostilities against the independence movement" for dialogue to be able to take place.

According to the president, the suspension of the low category statuses will not be taken as a "defeat" but rather inspire the independence movement to "prepare itself better to stop being held captive by an authoritarian state" following what he described as the encroachment of Spain on what is the authority of Catalan prison administrations. 

Torra's vice president, Pere Aragonès, was also highly critical of the move and accused the public prosecutor of "rupturing" talks between the Spanish and Catalan governments on the Catalan independence issue that have been put on hold due to the pandemic.  

"Amnesty is essential in order to negotiate," said Aragonès.