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Spain court rules proposed Catalan leader must stay in jail

AFP  |  Madrid 

Spain's today rejected a request by Catalonia's pro-independence to be let out of jail and sworn in as

The had been scheduled to hold a debate and vote on Sanchez's candidacy on Friday, but after the court's ruling announced on he had suspended the session indefinitely.

Sanchez was remanded in custody in October pending charges over his role in last year's failed Catalan independence bid.

An attempt to appoint him as failed last month after Spain's turned down a request for his release from jail.

But Torrent put Sanchez's name forward as a candidate again earlier this month after the Human Rights Committee defended his political rights.

In letters sent last month to Spanish authorities and Sanchez's lawyers, the UN committee requested the state take all steps to ensure he is allowed to exercise his political rights.

once again turned down Sanchez's request, arguing there were signs that he could "move in the direction of a rupture of the constitutional order".

The argues it was justified in limiting Sanchez's political rights given the risk that his release would pose to the collective rights "of the rest of the community".

Torrent had appealed earlier on Thursday for the to agree to let Sanchez, a former of group who was elected to the in snap polls in December,

"The court has the opportunity to take note of international law and the protection of political rights or write another dark chapter in the history of the Supreme Court," he said in an interview to radio station

The court ruling comes as is gearing up for a huge protest on Sunday to mark the six month anniversary of the jailing of Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the of another separatist organisation.

has been in political limbo since Spain's conservative central government imposed direct rule on the region after it unilaterally declared independence in October.

Fresh regional elections will be triggered if a new is not elected by May 22.

Separately, the National Court, which handles terrorism and other top criminal cases, released a woman who was arrested on Tuesday for "rebellion" and "terrorism" in a probe of pro-independence activists in

dismissed those two charges against her, saying she should instead be prosecuted for the lesser crime of causing public disorder, which carries a possible jail sentence of between six months and six years.

The woman is allegedly a member of the radical pro-independence activist groups called the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) which formed last year before an independence referendum on October 1.

In recent weeks, the groups have protested against the jailing of pro-independence Catalan leaders and the detention of former Catalan in by blocking major roads in Catalonia, sometimes with burning tires.

At the end of March, the protesters blocked major roads in and tried to occupy the central government's office, heavily guarded by police, on several occasions. The resulting clashes left dozens injured.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 00:45 IST
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