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The judge of Catalonia prisons court number 5 has rejected appeals by the pro-independence political prisoners Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez and Josep Rull asking for their previously-granted open prison regime to be restored, a few days after the same judge had ruled that they were entitled to this regime, but had rejected applying her own ruling on an interim basis, considering that the Spanish Supreme Court had to make the decision.

In early July, the judge awarded the 3rd Level open prison regime to the convicted Catalan leaders, allowing them to sleep nights from Friday to Sunday at home with their families. However, public prosecutors requested that the measures be suspended and, provisionally, the prison courts annulled this regime for the seven male political prisoners Oriol Junqueras, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Cuixart, Jordi Sànchez, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull, and Jordi Turull. The case of the two female pro-independence leaders, Carme Forcadell and Dolors Bassa, was considered by a different judge who, again provisionally, allowed the two women to maintain their leave privileges until the Supreme Court considered the substance of the prosecutors' claim.    

Sentence reaffirmed

Earlier this month, in another twist in this convoluted affair, the prisons court number 5 judge considered that the prisoners did have the right to enjoy this 3rd Level regime, but sent the matter to the sentencing court - the Supreme Court - for decision, refusing to lift the provisional measures which had annulled the 3rd Level privileges, even though she considered that, in substantive terms, the denial of privileges is not justified.

Thus, Junqueras, Sànchez and Rull all filed appeals for the looser regime to be restored, again on an interim basis. Now, however, the judge has reaffirmed her decision. From her point of view, the appeals do not include sufficiently strong arguments for the first resolution to be dismissed and the precautionary denial of privileges to be accordingly lifted.

A final decision on the Catalan prisoners' jail regimes, then, will still have to be made by the Supreme Court, both for the seven prisoners who have been given a tighter prison regime in the meantime, and the two who continue to be allowed a looser regime, also in the meantime.

 

"[...] This judge agrees to maintain the suspension of this [3rd Level] classification which was agreed," notes the ruling on the appeals of Junqueras, Sànchez and Rull. In addition, the judge's ruling adds that "the allegations made in the appeal filed by the inmate's defence do not modify or cancel out the criteria taken into account to issue the resolution which is the subject of the appeal, and which were already analyzed in the original study of the resolution contested here ".

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