Magistrates take up deliberations on Junqueras’ freedom again

The Spanish prosecutor requested the dismissed official stay in prison because he hasn’t “renounced illegal means”

Deposed vice president Oriol Junqueras on October 31 (by ACN)
Deposed vice president Oriol Junqueras on October 31 (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Madrid

January 5, 2018 12:04 PM

Magistrates for the Spanish Supreme Court Miguel Colmenero, Alberto Jorge Barreiro, and Francisco Monterde have begun once again to deliberate on whether Oriol Junqueras should be let out on bond, after over two months of precautionary detention at the Estremera correction center. The three law officials must reach a conclusion based on the hearing that took place yesterday, January 4.

During the two-hour proceedings, the magistrates heard the Spanish prosecution, the popular accusation, the defense, and Oriol Junqueras himself speak. The incarcerated official asked to be allowed to see his family again, from whom he’s been separated since he was incarcerated on November 2. During his speech, the minister also reiterated his commitment to do politics on a base of “dialogue, negotiation, and pacts,” which he backed with his “moral, personal and Christian” convictions.

His lawyer Andreu van den Eynde also argued that the official’s party, Esquerra Republicana (ERC), based their campaign on "genuine" support for "dialogue and bilateralism." Van den Eynde also said that Junqueras’ right to political participation must be guaranteed, as he was elected as an MP in the last election and was number one for ERC’s candidacy, which won 32 seats in Parliament.

Junqueras hasn’t “renounced illegal means,” claims Spanish prosecutor 

Yet, the Spanish Prosecutor's Office argued that the right to political participation isn’t enough to demand the dismissed official’s release since he was “allowed to be elected as an MP.” The legal body also insisted that the deposed Catalan vice president had not “renounced illegal means” to achieve his goals as well as his lack of commitment to “constitutional legality.”

Additionally, according to the public prosecutor, there is “sufficient, objective and indicative data” to prove that the incarcerated official’s participation in these events was “as a promoter and instigator of thereof,” citing evidence included in the case, as well as “various public demonstrations,” carried out by Junqueras throughout 2017. 

Spanish prosecutor wants to “advance judgment,” argues Junqueras’ lawyer

However, the defense lawyer criticized the Prosecutor’s Office of wanting to “advance the judgment” itself. “I suppose their subconscious betrayed them because the only thing they want to do is judge Junqueras,” he stated at the doors of the Supreme Court. Still, the attorney also said he trusts that the courtroom magistrates will base their decision on “technical issues.” “I’m confident that his rights can be guaranteed,” Van den Eynde assured the press, adding that his client “sees freedom within his reach” after having been able to speak to the magistrates directly.

If, however, the decision is made to keep the deposed vice president in prison, Van den Eynde stated that he will continue to request freedom for Junqueras “at all levels.” He also added that if his client is to remain incarcerated, they will be requesting a transfer to a penitentiary center in Catalonia, so that his client would be able to attend parliamentary plenaries. “It would be unlikely to think that a precautionary measure for someone who is not guilty and in a trial that’s just begun could alter the composition of a legislative chamber,” the attorney noted.