Junqueras’ freedom on Thursday ‘not very probable,’ says Esquerra Republicana

The spokesperson for the pro-independence party says decisions about the incarcerated officials are “political and not judicial”

The Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, before appearing on court (by Rafa Garrido)
The Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, before appearing on court (by Rafa Garrido) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 2, 2018 12:48 PM

Today marks exactly two months that Oriol Junqueras, Catalan vice president deposed by the Spanish government, was sent to prison without bail along with seven of his colleagues, six of whom have since been freed on bond. The first week of 2018 will, in fact, see another episode in this chain of events, when on Thursday January 4, Junqueras will again go before the Spanish Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena, who will decide whether to let the Catalan leader out on bond or not.

Yet, the spokesperson for Esquerra Republicana (ERC), the party for which Oriol Junqueras is first candidate, has deemed it “not very probable” that the vice president be let out of jail on Thursday. In an interview with radio station Rac1, ERC spokesperson Sergi Sabrià divulged that “what (information) gets to us tells us that it’s not very probable that this happens,” referring to Junqueras’ being let out of the Estremera prison on bond.

Sabrià assured he has full faith in the party’s legal team, but said he thinks the decisions regarding the prisoners are “political and not judicial,” which makes it “difficult” to predict what will happen on Thursday. The party spokesperson did insist however that he’s still hopeful to get “good news” on January 4, and stated that the eventuality of the party leader being freed would also benefit the remaining prisoners Joaquim Forn, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, who are also summoned before the same judge on January 11.

For the time being, Esquerra Republicana is going off of the assumption their leader will not yet be let out of the Madrid detention center this week. “But if the news is good, that’s even better,” added Sabrià. 

ERC demands concrete plans for Puigdemont's return from Together for Catalonia

In the same Rac1 interview, the ERC spokesperson also asked the second most voted party behind Ciutadans, Together for Catalonia (JxCat) how they propose bringing their number one candidate, Carles Puigdemont, back from Brussels where he is currently residing. 

Sabrià stated that there is no “alternative” to this plan and added that “there’s no point” in talking about “second options.” Sabrià also noted somewhat ironically that “it would be nice for everyone” if the new legislature to come out of the December 21 elections were to last at least three years.

He also dismissed the possibility of having to repeat the elections in case of disagreement: “after the victory of the December 21 elections,” he proclaimed, referring to the pro-independence majority in the Catalan parliament, “the one thing we can’t do is not find an agreement.”