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Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Raül Romeva will be allowed to leave prison to formally take office if they are successfully elected to the Spanish Congress or Senate in the snap general election on 28th April.

Supreme Court sources have told El Mundo that this is because Spanish electoral legislation allows prisoners in preventive detention to stand as candidates and, as such, they have to be allowed to complete the formalities to take on any office they might win. What's more, according to Catalan public broadcaster TV3, they will be allowed to vote once elected because, unlike the Catalan Parliament, neither the Spanish Congress nor Senate allows its members to delegate their votes.

Standing for Congress among the prisoners are Oriol Junqueras (ERC, Barcelona), Jordi Turull (JxCat, Lleida), Josep Rull (JxCat, Tarragona) and Jordi Sànchez (JxCat, Barcelona). Meanwhile, Raül Romeva is ERC's first candidate for Senate for Barcelona.

Last week, when the Supreme Court was considering whether or not to let the prisoners out in such circumstances, sources said that they are blocked from exercising their former roles, but not any they might get in the future. Indeed, they would only be banned from future roles if and when they are found guilty.

The Congress and Senate require newly elected representatives to appear in person to collect the official certificate ("acta") confirming their position. The Supreme Court has decided to allow them to leave prison for the time necessary to carry out the formality.

The other decision still pending is whether they will allow an electoral debate between the main candidates for Congress from Catalonia in Soto del Real prison, as called for by the head of JxCat's electoral list, Jordi Sànchez. The Central Electoral Commission declared it wasn't competent to take the decision, passing it over to the Supreme Court's second chamber, which is trying the case.

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