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Spanish court refuses to release two former Catalan officials

Former Catalonian Vice President Oriol Junqueras was refused bail. File Photo by Marta Perez/EPA

Spanish court refuses to release two former Catalan officials

The Spanish Supreme Court released six former Catalan authorities from pretrial custody but kept two of the most prominent ex-officials behind bars. Former Vice President Oriol Junqueras and ex-minister for interior affairs Joaquim Forn will be kept in jail after Justice Pablo Llarena determined they might commit the same crimes if released and refused to let them out on bail.

The group of former Catalan authorities argued they needed to be released on bail in order to participate in campaign activities as being jailed would violate their right to participate in political life.

The ex-officials had been arrested on Nov. 2 by a judge at Spain’s High Court.

The former Catalonian authorities will be kept in custody while an investigation continues into charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds in connection with the Oct. 1 independence referendum.

The referendum was said to be illegal by Spain’s constitutional court and Madrid officials, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who later invoked Article 155 of the Spanish constitution to remove Catalonia’s regional autonomy, imposed direct rule and called for new elections.

Meanwhile, former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont fled to Belgium, along with other officials, where he will attend an extradition hearing Monday on whether he should be sent back to Spain.

Source : upi

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