A judge from Spain’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that six Catalan leaders, currently held in pretrial detention, should be released on bail, but four others would remain on remand.
Oriol Junqueras, the region’s ousted vice-president, the former Catalan interior minister and the two heads of Catalonia’s most powerful independence associations will stay behind bars.
According to the judge, they are behind a ‘violent explosion’ that occurred September 29, in which pro-independence protestors blocked police officers from exiting an official building being registered.
Junqueras is also the president of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), the most popular separatist party in Catalonia, and heads the party’s list for the upcoming December 21 elections.
The judge, who took over the case from Spain’s national court, set a bail of $118,500 for the other six former politicians in the Catalan parliament, which declared independence from Spain in late October.
Monday’s ruling has provoked reactions from both sides of the debate. The official campaign for the December 21 elections in Catalonia, triggered by Spain, begins on Tuesday.
“Junqueras is in prison because they are scared of him”, said Marta Rovira, secretary general of ERC, in a news conference, adding that her party still aimed to lead the creation of an independent republic.
Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido told local media that ‘people who committed criminal actions have to submit to the judicial decisions’.
On Monday, a judge in Belgium yet again deferred a decision on European arrest warrants for Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia and four other former officials who face extradition to Spain.