Catalan People’s Party MEP hopes jailed ministers are released ‘as soon as possible’

Santiago Fisas says that if Catalan officials "commit to act within the law”, it will be easier for them for them to be released

Santiago Fisas, the Catalan People Party´s MEP, in Brussels earlier this year (by ACN)
Santiago Fisas, the Catalan People Party´s MEP, in Brussels earlier this year (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Strasbourg

November 15, 2017 04:20 PM

The People’s Party MEP Santiago Fisas hopes that Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras and the seven dismissed ministers that are currently incarcerated are released “as soon as possible." This, he said, is for them to be able to "campaign" for the December 21 election.

In an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN), Fisas said that he hopes that the case against the members of the dismissed Catalan government "goes to the Supreme Court" and stated that "if they commit to act within the law”, it will be easier for them to be released.

The PP MEP stressed that he doesn’t like people “being jailed,” which is why he voiced a wish for them to be out “as soon as possible.” “I think it’s good for everyone, and also for the elections,” he pointed out.   

Jailing Catalan officials, “not the best option”

According to Fisas, "when someone sides-steps the law, there’s a risk”. Nevertheless, he stressed that sending Catalan officials to jail “was not the best option,” especially before a political campaign. In fact, he said that, for campaigning it would be “better” for them to be released.

He also noted that the imprisonment of the dismissed Catalan vice-president and ministers is “a judicial decision” and insisted that “the Spanish government has nothing to do with it.” Fisas highlighted that “from a political and personal point of view” he prefers for them to be released. According to him, "the Spanish government does not like that they’re jailed.”

“It doesn’t depend on what the Spanish government decides”

The PP MEP highlighted that the release of the imprisoned Catalan officials does not depend on the Spanish government. "It does not depend on what the Spanish government decides or wants, it depends on the judge’s decisions,” he said.

In this regard, he hopes that the case of jailed Catalan officials goes to Spain’s Supreme Court, but he pointed out that it depends on the attitude of Catalan ministers in custody. “If they are committed to acting within the law, I suppose that it would be easier for them to be released,” he said.

Puigdemont showed "cowardice” by “fleeing”

Fisas also assured that it’s a different case than of Catalan government members who are currently in Brussels. Indeed, the PP MEP criticized the deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont for being in the Belgian capital.

He thinks that Puigdemont showed "cowardice” by “fleeing” and that “he did not take on his responsibilities.” "I have a lot more sympathy for those who stayed because they tackled the situation.” Fisas, however, regretted that those “who stayed” and did not travel to Belgium are “unfortunately, in prison.”   

“Dialogue” within the legal framework

Asked about what will happen after the 21 December election, the Catalan MEP backed “dialogue” between the Catalan and the Spanish government, but always “within the legal framework.” “We can talk about everything within the legal and constitutional framework,” he stated.