The legal quandry over whether to suspend the new Catalan MPs who are being tried in the Supreme Court over the independence bid resolved on Friday after the bureau of the Spanish parliament met to discuss the matter. PSOE, PP and Ciudadanos were in favour of the suspension of the four Catalan political prisoners, while Podemos was against it.
Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull all won seats in the Spanish congress in the April 28 general election, but their legal situation could see them barred from sitting in the chamber. The representatives, including Raül Romeva in the senate, were barred from sitting in the Catalan parliament last July, after the Supreme Court ruled that an individual on trial for rebellion or terrorism and in preventive prison can temporarily be suspended until a verdict is reached.
The new speaker of Spain’s lower house, Meritxell Batet, initially requested the Supreme Court to also rule on their current status, but the court said it “can only reiterate” its previous judgment and that settling the matter rests with the chamber.
Under pressure from the state prosecutor and the unionist conservative parties to apply the suspension to the Spanish parliament, the issue now definitively lies with the chamber’s bureau to interpret the court’s ruling when it meets at 12.30pm.
After a bureau meeting on Thursday, Batet said that the parliamentary body had sought advice from the chamber’s legal experts, who produced a report on Friday morning in favor of suspending the representatives based on the court’s original ruling.