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Spain's Supreme Court has rejected asking the Congress and Senate for suplicatorio permission to continue with the trial of Catalan pro-independence leaders, despite five of the defendants having been elected to them in last month's general election. The newly elected prisoners had argued their new status gave them the right to have the trial suspended until the Congress and Senate could rule on whether it could continue or not.

Presiding judge Manuel Marchena argues that the decision to suspend the trial would affect the rights of the other defendants. The Supreme Court has also rejected the new petition for release from Oriol Junqueras, Josep Rull, Jordi Turull, Jordi Sànchez and Raül Romeva.

The court will allow the five, however, to collect their certificates of election and attend the opening of the new sessions in the Congress and Senate next Tuesday, 21st May.



No suplicatorio

For the judges, "a grammatical and systematic interpretation" of the relevant law, means that "authorisation of the legislative body is necessary 'to bring to trial'" deputies and senators, but that "the constitutional meaning of immunity and its own historical justification don't allow for the authorisation to bring charges to be considered equal with the parliamentary homologation of those already on trial".

"There's no constitutional justification", the ruling continues, "why the normal development of a trial which is already in oral hearings should require for its democratic normality the nihil obstat of the parliamentary body. It's not part of the guarantees due a deputy or senator (if their incorporation into the lists of candidates and their election has taken place when hearings have already started) to impose a retroactive evaluation of the impact which this trial could have on the normal activity of the chambers".