The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered for the nine political prisoners to be transferred to Madrid for the last week of January, in preparation for their trial. It is still uncertain when the hearings will kick off, but the judges’ ruling on Thursday is a sign that the sessions will start soon.

The nine jailed leaders, including the former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, were originally waiting for the trial in Madrid prisons but were transferred to Catalan centers last July.

Yet the hearings will be in the Supreme Court –all efforts from officials to be tried in Catalonia failed– so they will be held in centers of the Madrid region, and moved every day to and from the court.

Transferring with “dignity”

The Supreme Court specifically requested for the Spanish home affairs ministry to take the necessary steps for the transfer, “with the conditions to respect [the prisoners’] dignity” and with “security.”

The sessions are expected to start between the end of January and beginning of February. The trial will include 12 prosecuted leaders, most of whom are accused of rebellion and misuse of funds.

The public prosecutor has requested a joint total 177 years prison sentence, including 25 years for Oriol Junqueras, the highest individual proposed sentence.