The speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent (ERC), has postponed the debate on investing Jordi Sànchez as president of Catalonia originally planned for next Monday. This postponement will last until the European Court of Human Rights decides on the appeal Sànchez's defence council will present against the decision by Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena to not allow him to attend the debate.
Sànchez's lawyer, Jordi Pina, will present the appeal on Monday at 8am. Filing it as an emergency measure means the court will have 48 hours to return a verdict.
Torrent announced the debate's postponement through a statement this evening after meeting with JxCat's parliamentary spokesperson, Elsa Artadi, the party's two representatives on the Parliament's Bureau, Josep Costa and Eusebi Campdepadrós, and deputy Albert Batet.
In the statement, the president "reaffirms [his] wish to guarantee the political rights of all deputies and, especially, the candidate to be invested president". Likewise, he notes that he had already announced that once the options within Spain were exhausted, they would have to turn to international courts.
Torrent's note remarks that the request for interim measures to the European Court of Human Rights is reserved for very specific cases which could produce irreparable harm. In this case, violation of Sànchez's right to political participation as an elected deputy.
Llarena released his decision mid-afternoon today refusing Sànchez permission to attend the debate, only allowing him to delegate his vote. The judge based his decision on the risk of recidivism and emphasised that the crimes under investigation were based on "clearly illegal" legislative and executive actions, "flagrantly disregarding constitutional, legal and institutional checks set out in our legal system, applying tactics which haven't been excluded and remain supported in the present".
This is the second time this legislature a presidential investiture debate has been delayed. On 30th January, Torrent postponed the debate for Carles Puigdemont hours before it started. He argued it was necessary for an "effective debate with guarantees", giving time for a decision on JxCat's arguments against the cautionary measures dictated by the Constitutional Court against the debate. That decision sparked conflict within the independence movement when JxCat said they hadn't been warned of the decision, carefully avoided this time with today's meetings.
Sànchez's candidacy was proposed by JxCat on 1st March after Puigdemont announced he would "provisionally" step aside to facilitate an investiture. Sànchez has been held in pretrial detention near Madrid since 16th October on a charge of sedition.