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The month of January that has just begun will have at least two key judicial moments before the constitution of the Catalan Parliament on the 17th: firstly, on the 4th, vice president Oriol Junqueras will appear before the Spanish Supreme Court, which has to study his appeal to be set free, and on the 11th, minister Joaquim Forn and the Jordis, Sànchez and Cuixart, have asked to expand their testimony before Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena with the same objective, being released from prison.

Junqueras has spent 60 nights deprived of his liberty; Forn, the same. The Jordis have had 20 more days behind bars than the others, since they were put into Alcalá Meco prison several weeks earlier. Acting Catalan president Puigdemont was the first to mark the arrival of the new year by repeating the reminder that in Spain there are political prisoners, people who have been jailed for defending their ideas, and he demanded their urgent release.

Although the Spanish prosecutors maintain their position that preventive detention must be maintained for all four prisoners, it is obvious that since their jailing, and since the Catalan elections on December 21st, the circumstances have changed; in addition, the measures taken are highly debatable, as has been highlighted by former judge Martín Pallín.

If having candidates for election in jail and in exile had consequences during the campaign, it is obvious that having MPs-elect in those situations now has an effect on the opening of the Catalan Parliament and in the negotiation of the new government. So much so, that the Popular Party (PP) does not cease to encourage Citizens (Cs) and the Socialists (PSC) to try and take control of the Board that presides over Parliament, by taking advantage of the legal circumstances. Eight MPs from the Together for Catalonia (JxC) and Republican Left (ERC) lists – either in jail or in exile - could have difficulties in coming to Parliament. As long as the Catalonia in Common group maintains its equidistant attitude when voting, that is.

The legal aspects of this have to be resolved over the next ten days or two weeks. Whether coincidence or not, the calendars of both areas unfold together. And the first key date will be the Supreme Court's decision. Opening the Junqueras route and allowing the vice president to leave prison would be a first step toward bringing the legislature back to normal and reducing tension. In the same way, granting freedom on January 11th for Forn, Sànchez and Cuixart.