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A prisons court judge in Catalonia has endorsed the 3rd Level open prison regime granted to the pro-independence political prisoners. This, after the same court, Catalan prisons courts number 5, suspended the open prison privileges a few weeks ago at the request of public prosecutors, as an interim measure. And in the specific case of Jordi Cuixart, the judge today commented that there was no obligation for prisoners to "abandon their declarations on innocence or show repentance".

In the rulings, some of which has obtained access to, judge María Jesús Arnau Sala refutes the prosecution's arguments and considers that the granting of the regime of semi-liberty to the convicted pro-independence leaders earlier this year was correct. She therefore rejects the appeal filed in July by prosecutors. However, this does not imply the immediate recovery of leave privileges or the prisoners, as the issue has been elevated to the Supreme Court, which has made new doctrine establishing that the sentencing court - in this case, the Supreme Court itself - has the final word on appeals relating to the sentence served. For the time being, then, the prisoners will continue in their respective prisons.

In particular, today's rulings note that the Supreme Court's sentence against the nine jailed pro-independence leaders did not impose any specific restriction on the prisoners ability to access a 3rd Level prison regime, nor did it state they would have to serve half their sentences before qualifying for it. In fact, the prisons court today clarifies that in the Supreme Court sentence "no limitation is established, nor any expectation that the convicts would have to be regarded at the outset as dangerous". In addition, it notes that the Supreme Court "explicitly" rejected a request by prosecutors to set "temporary limits on access to a 3rd Level regime."

Repentance not required

In the specific case of Jordi Cuixart, as the Òmnium Cultural organization has reported, the judge states that he has already served more than a quarter of his sentence, and that he has all the requirements required of any inmate in order to encourage reintegration in society, a view also supported by experts from the prison's multidisciplinary team.

Contrary to the request made by prosecutors, the prisons court notes that penitentiary centres do not have any programme for the "treatment" of the crime of sedition: “In the current 21st century prison administration, there is no treatment programme for the crime of sedition”. In addition, with regard to Cuixart's attitude, which has also been a central part of the prosecution's appeal, summed up in the imprisoned Òmnium leader's famous exclamation that he "would do it again", the judge makes it clear that a failure to show remorse or a defence of innocence are "legitimate thoughts and decisions, since prison regulations do not impose the obligation on convicts to repent, nor to plead guilty or to abandon their declarations of innocence”.

Below, the documents giving today's court rulings on prisoners Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva and Jordi Sànchez.




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