The lawyers of five Catalan political prisoners on trial for the 2017 independence bid have asked the Supreme Court to allow them temporary release so they can officially take up the seats they won in the Spanish general election on April 28.

Former vice-president Oriol Junqueras, former ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Raül Romeva, and activist-turned-politician Jordi Sànchez, made a formal request on Wednesday to be allowed out of custody on May 21 to attend swearing-in sessions at the Congress or the Senate.

In their written appeals, the MPs also reminded the court that it must formally petition the chambers to be able to continue trying elected representatives, who enjoy parliamentary immunity under the Spanish Constitution and criminal law.

Likely delays

Processing the requests is expected to take some time and could affect the ongoing trial of the pro-independence leaders, however the five MPs have not asked the court to suspend sessions of the trial while considering the appeals.

It is the second time that the politicians have requested they be released since the trial started. The first appeal, which was turned down, was made when they asked to be allowed out of custody to campaign for the election.