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Supreme Court revokes temporary leave of jailed pro-independence leader

Judges enabled to overrule permits of rest of leaders, and any prosecutor's appeal will provisionally suspend benefits

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23 July 2020 10:59 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

Spain's Supreme Court has revoked a regular temporary leave granted to the pro-independence leader Carme Forcadell, who was jailed for her role in the 2017 independence push as parliament speaker.

The magistrates in charge of the Catalan trial last year has been involved for the first time on one of the permits granted to the imprisoned politicians under the article 100.2 of the penitentiary law.

Until now, the public prosecutor had appealed the permits, but they had been dismissed by local penitentiary courts, although the one reviewing Forcadell's case opened the door to the Supreme Court's involvement.

Daytime weekdays permits affected

The permits were granted before the convicted politicians and activists were classified in the lowest prison category, meaning that on top of the temporary leaves to work or volunteer in the daytime on weekdays, they would sleep home at the weekends.

In the decree made public on Thursday, the Supreme Court declares itself competent to decide on such leaves on weekdays and rules that any appeal by the prosecutor will mean a provisional suspension of the leave while Spain's top judges review the case.

The magistrates will also have a final say on the lowest prison category qualification, which affects on weekends and is being applied from last week. 

Reintegration

Forcadell was granted a leave when she was an inmate in Mas d'Enric prison, in Tarragona, and then she requested to be transferred to Wad-Ras center, in Barcelona, for family reasons. There she requested another permit under article 100.2, but the Supreme Court has revoked the one in Mas d'Enric, not being used anymore.

In its decision, the Supreme Court argues that 100.2 leaves cannot "hide a release typical of the lowest prison category."

What's more the magistrates believe that Forcadell changed prison to avoid certain penitentiary judges, which makes the transfer "unjustified" in the eyes of the court.

The judge's decree also reads that regular temporary leaves are thought to help in the reintegration of the inmates in society – and that the tasks for which Forcadell has requested the application of article 100.2, volunteering and looking after a relative, have nothing to do with reintegration.

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  • The Catalan former parliament president, Carme Forcadell, testifying in Spain's Supreme Court on February 26, 2019

  • The Catalan former parliament president, Carme Forcadell, testifying in Spain's Supreme Court on February 26, 2019

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