Spanish government begins procedure to transfer jailed leaders to Catalan prisons
Prison service has already asked Supreme Court to confirm it no longer intends to issue further summons
The Spanish government has begun the process to transfer jailed pro-independence leaders to prisons in Catalonia. The full procedure is likely to take a matter of “days,” reported the ‘El País’ newspaper on Thursday. Meanwhile, sources in the home affairs ministry confirmed to the Catalan News Agency that “the set protocol” for the relocation of the prisoners, who are currently being held in centers in the Madrid region, has been activated.
Now the decision has been made on a political level to carry out the transfers, the Spanish government has asked the Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena if new proceedings are planned for the pro-independence leaders. This comes after their indictment appeals were rejected on Wednesday, meaning the 25 individuals involved in the case will be prosecuted for various charges including rebellion, misuse of funds, and disobedience.
Later on in the day, Llarena greenlighted the transferral of four pro-independence leaders: Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, two activists jailed since October 16 in the Soto del Real prison, as well as Carme Forcadell and Dolors Bassa, the only female politicians in jail, who have been held behind bars in the Alcalá-Meco prison for more than three months.
Llarena said he sees "no procedural reasons" for keeping them jailed in Madrid once their indictment has been confirmed and the investigation stage has come to an end. In total, 25 people will be trialled for their role in the independence bid, nine of whom are preemptively in jail accused of rebellion, and seven more who left the country to avoid prosecution.
While the judge's announcement paves the way for bringing Forcadell, Bassa, Sànchez and Cuixart closer to their homes, a decision has yet to be announced on the fate of five politicians jailed in the Estremera prison: Oriol Junqueras, Joaquim Forn, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull.