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Jailed Catalan minister Joaquim Forn is once again waiting for Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena to decide on a request for his to be granted bail - and provisional freedom. The odds seem to be against him. Both public and private prosecutions are opposed. This Tuesday, Forn once again appeared in court in Madrid to explain one of the arguments that the judge interpreted as evidence of his likelihood to repeat his alleged offences: a letter he wrote in support of the CDRs - the Committees for Defence of the Republic, local protest groups set up at the time of the independence referendum, which have been subjected to close scrutiny and many accusations by the Spanish authorities.

But the former Catalan interior minister, facing charges arising from the independence process along with most of his government colleagues, has specified that he wrote the letter in support of the CDRs along with jailed Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras and that it was read on 2nd May at a public event in Barcelona's Plaça Sant Jaume "to thank people for their moral support".

The Public Prosecutor's Office has admitted that it inserted the matter of the letter into its submission urging continued prison for Forn after a "deficient reading of digital media", but it has not modified its posture on the matter. 

"There is no change" said Forn's lawyer Xavier Melero, "and nor was I expecting one. Anyone who thinks that the prosecution service acts in response to telephone calls or alerts, does not know how they work". Speaking as he left the court on Tuesday, Melero said that the prosecutor "had maintained his criterion, but in a more moderate tone".

The lawyer, however, still has faith in the "independence of criteria" of the judge who has kept some ministers in prison and released others.

Forn did not deny the existence of the letter but has clarified that the only reason for it was to thank all those who had offered him their solidarity. The letter was not in support of the CDRs, he said.

For the prosecuting lawyers, these explanations have been "the excuse to bring Forn into court from prison and take advantage to ask for a review of his remand conditions". VOX, the right-wing political party which has led a private prosecution in the case, opposed the claim, and so did the public prosecutor and the lawyers of the state. 

Judge Pablo Llarena will probably give his decision on the request for release at the end of this week.

More evidence and witnesses

On Tuesday, the defence asked to call new witnesses while the prosecution raised a question about the cost for the use of all the public premises which were used as polling places for the referendum vote on October 1st, 2017. In an effort to find new evidence of the misuse of public funds, where few solid indications have been found, no stone is being left unturned.

The Spanish treasury department and the Civil Guard have appraised that about 3 million euros of public money was dedicated to the referendum.

Given the new legal requests that have made in the case, Judge Llarena will have to reach a decision quickly if he wants to close the case before the summer recess. The possibility has thus been raised that the hearing may not be concluded until after the summer, contrary to earlier speculation.