Spain’s prosecutor has opposed the 72-hour prison leave granted to jailed independence leader Jordi Cuixart, because he has failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the offenses for which he was imprisoned, he has shown no remorse and he shows “cognitive distortion”. Cuixart, who is serving a nine-year jail term for sedition for his role in the 2017 independence bid, often uses the phrase “Ho tornarem a fer” (We will do it again).

The prosecutor also described the granting of the 72 hours temporary release to the head of Òmnium – one of the most influential pro-independence organizations in Catalonia – as “premature”, “unjustified” and “inappropriate”. The prison regime Cuixart is under allows for up to 36 days leave a year once a quarter of the sentence has been served. Cuixart passed that threshold in mid-January, when he applied for, and was granted, temporary release of 48 hours.

Leave over 48 hours goes before judge

However, leave over 48 hours that is granted by the prison authorities must go before a judge, allowing the prosecutor to challenge the decision, as in this case. Among the prosecutor’s objections is that Cuixart could use the leave to commit more offenses.

In considering the leave granted to be inappropriate, the prosecutor compares the seriousness of Cuixart’s offense and the sentence he is serving to crimes such as murder, sexual aggression and drug trafficking.

All parties will now be given a chance to make their arguments in court, with the case likely to end up in the Supreme Court that originally sentenced Cuixart to prison, which will have the final say on the matter.

Cuixart’s reaction

In a letter to the members of his civic organization, Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart warns: “We reject the pardon and any measure or blackmail, however much it pretends to condition a permit, which involves renouncing the struggle for self-determination by exercising fundamental rights.”

He also claims that Òmnium will “always” work for universal agreement and “never renounce dialogue,” while Spain “alter democratic majorities and violate human rights.” The jailed leader goes to say that his pro-independence civic group will continue to “push” for the “democratic resolution of the conflict,” with “the end of repression and amnesty of all political prisoners and exiles.”