Catalan separatist denied bail

The supreme court in Spain has denied bail to the Catalan region’s ousted vice-president, Oriol Junqueras.

Junqueras was instrumental in organising the region’s independence referendum on 1 October last year, a vote which was declared illegal by Spain. Following the vote, which saw violent clashes between police and protesters, the former vice president was arrested on suspicion of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds, and has been in prison since 2 November.

Today, three judges issued a written ruling arguing that the politician could seek to continue his secessionist efforts if released on bail, the Guardian reports. In a hearing yesterday, Junqueras insisted he would obey the law if released, but the supreme court ruled that there was a significant chance he would reoffend, and said that there was evidence to suggest he had committed the offences for which he was arrested.

Despite having been re-elected in a snap election in December – following Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s decision to sack the Catalan parliament following the referendum – Junqueras is likely to miss the inaugural session of the new Catalan parliament on 17 January.

Deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has called Junqueras a political prisoner, a claim which the Spanish government has denied. He condemned the decision to deny bail to Junqueras, along with the detention of three other pro-independence leaders.

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