20th September 2020
Oriol Junqueras 'political prisoner'
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Constitutional Court finally rejects Junqueras appeal, yet not unanimously

The Spanish Constitutional Court has finally rejected the appeal from the jailed former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, against the pre-trial and pre-verdict detention that he underwent from November 2017 to October 2019, before he was convicted to a 13-year prison sentence on 14 October by Spain’s Supreme Court.

ALSO READ: Catalan Trial verdict and sentences – up to 13 years

Whilst the Constitutional Court’s judges rejected the appeal to the pre-trial jailing, it was not a unanimous decision, as has been the norm.

Three judges voted against the decision taken by the majority of the magistrates.

Oriol Junqueras 'political prisoner'
Former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras (centre) sits with fellow former Catalan leaders during their trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid on 12 February 2019. (J.J.Guillén / AFP)

Junqueras’ appeal was presented in January 2018, with the judges taking their final decision 22 months later, when he is no longer in provisional detention, but serving his conviction.

ALSO READ: Oriol Junqueras: ‘I consider myself a political prisoner’

His defence can now take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in Strasbourg, after having completed the whole path of appeals through Spain’s judicial system.

Meanwhile, Junqueras is also awaiting a final ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg, as to his immunity and seat as an MEP.

According to Maciej Szpunar, the Advocate General of the CJEU, he should have been allowed to take up his position as an MEP.

‘MEPs’ parliamentary mandate is acquired solely from the electorate and is not conditional on the completion of any subsequent formality’ – and therefore that Junqueras should have been considered an MEP after the EU elections in May, stated Szpunar.

However, the EU court is yet to make a final ruling following the advocate’s advice. It is expected on 19 December.

Click here for all articles and update the Catalan Trial, verdicts and sentencing

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