The “two Jordis” and two ministers will remain in prison while other six ministers granted bail

Spanish supreme court judge Pablo Llarena delivered his decision to the 10 Catalan political prisoners’ legal teams this morning at 10am Spanish time. Six of the imprisoned Catalan ministers have been granted bail of €100,000 and should therefore be able to leave prison today.

Precautionary imprisonment has been retained for four of the prisoners: Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, the two grassroots movement leaders in prison since 16 October, and two ministers from the deposed Catalan government, Oriol Junqueras (Vice President and Finance Minister) and Joaquim Forn (Interior Minister), who have been in prison since 2 November.

#DearCatalonia letters needed more than ever

We had hoped for granting of bail for all ten prisoners today. It must be heart-wrenching to have your hopes of going home to loved ones dashed by today’s decision. All the prisoners have emphasised the positive impact made by letters from outside, so it is more important than ever to send letters of support to the four political prisoners now facing a prolonged time in their cells.

Jordi Cuixart i Navarro


President of Òmnium Cultural
Jailed without bail: 16 Oct 2017
Charges: sedition

Jordi Cuixart i Navarro
Módulo 1
Centro Penitenciario Madrid V
Ctra. M-609, km 3,5
28791 Soto del Real
Madrid, Spain

Jordi Sànchez Picanyol


former President of the Catalan National Assembly
Jailed without bail: 16 Oct 2017
Charges: sedition
Candidate #2 for Junts Per Catalunya in Barcelona

Jordi Sànchez Picanyol
Módulo 8
Centro Penitenciario Madrid V
Ctra. M-609, km 3,5
28791 Soto del Real
Madrid, Spain

Oriol Junqueras i Vies


Vice President of the Catalan Government and Minister of Finance
Jailed without bail: 2 Nov 2017
Charges: rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds
Candidate #1 for ERC in Barcelona

Oriol Junqueras i Vies
Módulo 7
Centro Penitenciario Madrid VII
Ctra. M-241, km 5.750
28595 Estremera
Madrid, Spain

Joaquim Forn Chiariello


Minister of the Interior
Jailed without bail: 2 Nov 2017
Charges: rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds
Candidate #7 for Junts Per Catalunya in Barcelona

Joaquim Forn Chiariello
Módulo 1
Centro Penitenciario Madrid VII
Ctra. M-241, km 5.750
28595 Estremera
Madrid, Spain

Three election candidates remain in prison

Jordi Sànchez and Joaquim Forn are both Junts per Catalunya candidates (Barcelona list) in the forthcoming 21 December election in Catalonia and Oriol Junqueras is top of the ERC list for Barcelona. As election campaigning formally gets underway this week, three pro-independence candidates will not be at liberty to campaign among the voters.

Why are they to remain in prison?

Essentially the judge reckons that there is too big a risk that these four defendants will repeat the sedition for which they are accused. The language used by the judge to describe the events to which they are linked is truly eye-opening. The large scale mass actions of non-violent civil disobedience, protest and defence of communities have been characterised with terms like:

  • “el ejercicio de la violencia” (the exercise of violence)
  • “la violenta explosión social” (the violent social explosion)
  • “la convocatoria del asedio” (the convocation of the siege)
  • “Unos hechos violentos” (some violent acts)

Casting our minds back to the scenes recorded by many cameras on 1 October 2017, the judge’s determination seems to frame the disproportionate Guardia Civil violence as a natural consequence of the sedition alleged against the these four defendants: “o las que cortaron carreteras o constituyeron murallas humanas que defendían de manera activa los centros de votación, haciendo en ocasiones recular a los cuerpos policiales, apedreando sus vehículos o forzando a los agentes a emplear una fuerza que hubiera resultado innecesario de otro modo“.

or those that blocked roads or constituted human walls that actively defended the polling stations, sometimes causing the police to retreat, stoning their vehicles or forcing the agents to employ a force that would have been unnecessary otherwise

The determination from judge Pablo Llarena today is available in full (in Spanish) at El Periódico. Here is a rough translation of the main paragraphs giving a justification for keeping these four defendants in custody while their trials are ongoing.

The same does not occur with regard to any of the investigated that are contemplated today, specifically with respect to Mr. Oriol Junqueras i Vies, Mr. Joaquim Forn, Mr. Jordi Sánchez Picanyol and Mr. Jordi Cuixart Navarro, whose contributions are directly linked to a violent explosion that, if repeated, leaves no margin of correction or satisfaction to those who are affected by it.

The risk of reiteration of their behaviors imposes on this instructor a greater degree of rigor and caution, when it comes to combining the right to freedom of those under investigation and the right of the community to be able to carry out their daily activities in a context devoid of any the foreseeable risk of supporting behaviors that irreversibly damage, not only their social or family coexistence, as well as the free economic and labor development, but their own physical integrity.

And the investigation’s findings that link a contribution of these defendants directly linked to the exercise of violence are diverse. On the one hand, the document Enfocáis reflects (pg 40) the existence of a group of individuals (Strategic Committee) that have played a defining role in how and when to carry out each of the actions of the process and, consequently, the violence and the tumults that were detailed in the previous resolution (increasing citizen mobilization, according to the aforementioned), and which are the elements that constitute the essence of the crimes of rebellion or sedition that are investigated. A group of individuals whose intervention consisted precisely – and so it is said – in “orienting and strategically directing the implementation of the plan, aligning all the actors involved and causing the necessary human and financial resources to be mobilized”, and in “entrusting the execution of the specific tasks to the Executive Committee and validate the proposals of the Executive Committee “. A Strategic Committee in which D. Oriol Junqueras i Vies, D. Jordi Sánchez Picanyol and D. Jordi Cuixart Navarro were integrated, but not the rest of the defendants being now reviewed.

On the other hand, their capacity to decide on the suitability and the moment in which it was convenient to deploy each of the behaviors of the process, is to direct the mobilizations that put at risk -or even materialized- the violent social explosion that we contemplated, having arrived These defendants even intervene in their material execution. In the case of Mr. Jordi Sánchez Picanyol and Mr. Jordi Cuixart Navarro, for the public mobilization that has driven the Catalan National Assembly and Omnium Cultural associations; what has been done knowing that in the last congregations, although most of the gathered citizens were going to act solely driven by their ideological conviction and that they would be firmly committed to avoiding any type of aggression or violence, they would necessarily infiltrate numerous behaviors aggressive In fact, they themselves participated in the convocation of the siege that tens of thousands of protesters made to the judicial commission that executed the registry of the installations of the Ministry of Economy of the Generalitat in Barcelona, ​​and also directed the masses during the 19 hours that the siege lasted, modulating the acts of violence that were deployed and finally facilitating the departure of the judicial commission thanks to a full control of what happened. Some violent acts to which D. Oriol Junqueras i Vies himself came and which were propitiated because the forces in charge of public order -which were under the responsibility of D. Joaquim Forn i Chiariello- favored or did not deploy any action that could bring them to an end.

And this position of domination is seen in many other social mobilizations suffered, such as the one that prevented the registration in the entity Unipost, or those that blocked roads or constituted human walls that actively defended the polling stations, sometimes causing the police to retreat, stoning their vehicles or forcing the agents to employ a force that would have been unnecessary otherwise. As well as those that blocked railroad tracks or besieged the hotels where the members of the security forces were staying or threatened the businessmen that supported the services of the State.

Therefore, in these investigated the risk of criminal reiteration reflects the likelihood that acts with serious, immediate and irreparable consequences for the community can be reproduced. Thus, the danger does not disappear with the formal statement that they abandon their strategy of action and judicial determination to reassess their personal situation if their statements are mendacious, but requires to verify that the possibility of new attacks has effectively disappeared, or that gradually it is confirmed that the change of will is true and real.

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