Eight deposed Catalan ministers sent to prison without bail
Spain’s National Court sets bail at €50,000 for former Business minister
Prison is the Spanish judiciary’s response to the ousted Catalan government’s independence roadmap, despite repeated calls for dialogue and mediation in the past few weeks by Puigdemont’s cabinet. Spain’s National Court provisionally jailed eight dismissed Catalan ministers without bail on Thursday. Beginning with vice president, Oriol Junqueras, all the deposed officials who appeared in the Madrid court will spend the night behind bars. The officials are charged with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
The only exception was former business minister, Santi Vila, who stepped down from his post after disagreeing with the declaration of independence. In a different ruling, Vila was ordered to be held pending a €50,000 bail payment. Apart from Junqueras, the officials held in custody without bail are the ministers of Home Affairs (Joaquim Forn), Foreign Affairs (Raül Romeva), Governance (Meritxell Borràs), Presidency (Jordi Turull), Social Affairs (Dolors Bassa), Justice (Carles Mundó) and Territory (Josep Rull).
In all, the eight jailed officials were sent to five different prisons in the Madrid region. On the orders of the judge, Junqueras and Forn were sent to the Estremera prison, Turull and Romeva to the prison of Valdemoro, Rull to the Navalcarnero penitentiary, Mundó and Vila to Aranjuez, while the female ministers, Bassa and Borràs have gone to Alcalá prison.
However they are not the only ones to have ended up in prison over the past few weeks because of the independence roadmap. The judge who ordered the jailing of the officials is the the same who on October 16 ordered the heads of Catalonia’s two main civil pro-independence organizations, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, to be remanded in custody. It is also the same National Court judge considering a prosecutor’s request to issue an international arrest warrant for Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his four ministers who fled to Brussels.
Justifying her decision to jail the former Catalan government members, the judge argued that their decision to declare independence amounts to causing an uprising in Spain’s sovereign territory. She also said the mobilization of the public by the independence movement was intimidation of Spain’s security forces, who were in Catalonia to ensure the law was carried out.