Jailed leader allowed to take up seat as Barcelona local councilor

Prosecutor requests suspension of another imprisoned leader from European Parliament

Joaquim Forn in the dock at the Catalan trial
Joaquim Forn in the dock at the Catalan trial / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 11, 2019 12:28 PM

Spain's Supreme Court has granted Joaquim Forn temporary leave from preventative prison in order to take his seat in Barcelona's City Hall for its opening session on Saturday.

Forn, Catalonia's interior minister at the time of the failed independence drive, won election to represent Junts per Catalunya as a local councilor in municipal polls held last month.

He will be transferred to Barcelona by Friday from the prison in the Madrid suburb where he is being held, shortly after the end of the trial against him and 11 independence allies.

The court stipulated on Tuesday that Forn has to be transferred back immediately after Saturday's session.

Once he formally takes his seat, Forn is very likely to be suspended as local councilor. Since July 2018, the Supreme Court has ordered the temporary suspension of any jailed leader as representatives of the Catalan or Spanish parliaments until a verdict is reached in their case.

The public prosecutor has already requested his suspension as soon as he becomes councilor.

Prosecutor rejects Junqueras becoming MEP

The Supreme Court must also now decide whether to allow jailed pro-independence leader Oriol Junqueras to take the oath in Madrid in order to take up his seat as an MEP on June 17.

The public prosecutor has already protested against him getting the permission on the grounds that it would hold up the judicial proceedings against him and the 11 other defendants.

Yet the independence trial is expected to come to a close on Wednesday or Thursday, a few days before Junqueras would join the rest of newly-elected MEPs for the swearing-in ceremony.