Spain's Central Electoral Commission has authorised Oriol Junqueras, head of ERC's candidacy for Congress, to take part in a press conference with ACN (Catalan News Agency) from prison. Denied, on the other hand, are the interviews requested by Catalan public broadcasters TV3 (for the programme Els Matins) and Catalunya Ràdio, to balance their interviews with the other candidates. Nor will he be allowed to take part in TV3's debate on 24th April, nor tonight's debate on TVE.
As for the press conference organised by ACN, he is allowed to take part because the commission doesn't see sufficient reason to prevent him from doing so "telematically". This will be Junqueras' first press conference since his imprisonment.
In its ruling, the commission finds that in the cases of TV3, Catalunya Ràdio and TVE, reports from secretary general of the Spanish penal service finds the requests "incompatible". It gives the example of the timetables for the interviews and debates in question and the impossibility of having the only working videoconference room in Soto del Real prison available. They also cite the fact that Junqueras has to attend court on those days.
On the other hand, when it comes to ACN the request is for Friday 19th at 10am, when the trial won't be in session. The court finds that "there aren't confirmed enough reasons which would prevent authorisation for it to happen, as such the appropriate measures will have to be ruled on by the competent authority so that the candidate's telematic participation can take place".
This comes the same day as the provincial Electoral Commission for Barcelona has authorised ERC to hold a rally at Lledoners prison, where Junqueras was held for months before the start of the trial. The rally, to be held on 18th April by Gabriel Rufián, whose name is second on the party's list of candidates for Congress for Barcelona, will be for prisoners who have applied to vote and the media is banned from being present inside the jail.