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Catalan leader denied release by Spain supreme court

[JURIST] Judge Pablo Llarena of Spain's Supreme Court [official website] denied [text, PDF, Spanish] on Friday the requested release of former president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) Jordi Sànchez. The request was filed to allow Sànchez to attend the investiture debate in Parliament next week for the new leader of Catalonia.

Sànchez has been in custody [JURIST report] since October over charges of rebellion and sedition based on his alleged role in using demonstrations to stop police from halting the unilateral independence referendum, that eventually was found to be unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Sànchez has been the hopeful candidate to replace the former President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont [profile].

In his 26-page opinion, Llarena based his decision on the risk of repeated behavior based on Sanchez's continued goal to achieve succession from Spain. He emphasized that these alleged crimes are clearly illegal and Sanchez "didn't offer his voters the leadership he now calls for."

The ANC has since responded [Twitter website] stating, "Llarena denies freedom and permission for the Jordi Sànchez investiture. When a perversion of justice comes through the door, collective freedom jumps out of the window. Freedom!"

Catalonia's Parliament is still expected to meet on Monday to vote in a new leader of the region.

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