Spain’s Supreme Court Orders 2 Former Catalan Officials Held in Jail

Catalonia, Catalan, Catalan independence, Catalan referendum, Spain, Guardia Civil
A pro-Catalan independence protest in Barcelona. Image: SBA73, Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Spain’s supreme court on Monday ordered six former Catalan government officials released on bail but remanded two, the former vice president Oriol Junqueras and interior minister Joaquim Forn.

Justice Pablo Llarena said there was a risk that the two former ministers would commit the same crimes again, El Pais reported.

The leaders of two two pro-independence associations were ordered held in jail, according to the reports.

Six other former Catalan officials were ordered released on €100,000 bail and to report back to court weekly.

They are all facing charges in connection with the independence referendum held the semi-autonomous region in October. Seven are separatist party candidates in the upcoming Catalan election.

Campaigning for the December 21 election is set to begin at midnight on Tuesday.

Following the October 1 referendum, the Catalan parliament voted to secede from Spain, prompting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to depose the entire Catalan government. The Spanish senate voted to invoke of Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, giving the central government authority to administer the region. Mr. Rajoy also called early elections in Catalonia.

Ousted Catalan Prime Minister Carles Puigdemont also faces charges of rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds in connection with the referendum. Mr. Puigdemont has remained in Brussels where he is fighting extradition to Spain. His lawyer told AFP on Saturday that he will remain in Belgium until after the December 21 election.