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Today, Spain's Supreme Court has rejected allowing the Catalan political prisoners to leave prison on bail now their trial has finished as they await a verdict in their case. Presiding judge Manuel Marchena used today's ruling to attack the report from the UN's working group on arbitrary detention which called for the prisoners' release. The judges argue the report is in no way binding on them and refute its arguments.

"The opinion isn't lacking in outlandish assertions, free of any logic and any possible fit in our legal system", they write, adding that they disagree with the group's work for many reasons.

For example, they discuss the claim that former minister Quim Forn "was persuaded stop his activism, in favour of the pro-independence cause, in exchange for being released". In the court's opinion, this "simple insinuation" is "insidious" and can only be supported by a "crude lack of awareness of the principles which define the penal process of our constitutional system".

 

They also reject the working group's argument that, given the lack of violence in the independence push, the accusations against CuixartSánchez and Junqueras aim to "pressure them for their political opinions about the independence of Catalonia and to inhibit them from continuing with their pretensions in the political sphere".

"Only from a lack of knowledge of our political and legal reality can one endorse such messages," the judges say. They argue the same ideas are held by the current government of Catalonia, the members of which they say were given the treatment required by protocol for authorities when they attended sessions of the trial.

They also criticise the report for calling on the Spanish government to take the "necessary measures" to bring the situation to an end: "This request ignores one of the essential elements which defines the rule of law, namely, that which prevents the executive from giving instructions, requirements or orders to the courts".

 

 

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