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At exactly the same time that Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras was appearing before the Penal Chamber of Spain's Supreme Court asking for a review of the preventive detention without bail ordered by judge Pablo Llarena, radio station Cadena SER published images on their website of Iñaki Urdangarin, the Infanta Cristina, sister of the Spanish monarch, and three of their children on holiday in Rome, leaving a well-known pizzeria in Campo dei Fiori.

This isn't the place to analyse the sentence of six years and three months in prison imposed last February by a court in Palma on the brother-in-law of king Felipe VI over his contracts with the governments of the Balearic Islands and Valencia. Nor to recall a sentence that was already controversial when first announced.

But it is the place to highlight the scandalous contrast meant by Urdangarin's freedom, his freedom of movement from keeping his passport and the Supreme Court's sloth over setting a hearing over the appeal presented to avoid him going to prison. Meanwhile, Junqueras, Forn and the Jordis are in preventive detention in Estremera and Soto del Real prisons and president Puigdemont and four ministers are exiled in Brussels with arrest warrants hanging over them in Spain.

In the case of Urdangarin we're talking of a case judged and ruled on by the Audience of Palma. In the case of the members of the Catalan government dissolved by Mariano Rajoy, a very controversial decision first from the National Audience court and later the Supreme Court. So debatable that even such a venerable figure in the judiciary as former Supreme Court judge José Antonio Martín Pallín has said that the cases are contrived and there were no crimes of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds committed.

And that all this should happen whilst the court is deliberating whether or not to release Junqueras is quite the metaphor for what is happening and should never happen in a state which presents itself to the world as having a clear separation of powers.