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article imageAxed Catalan VP demands release from jail

By AFP     Nov 28, 2017 in Politics

The dismissed vice president of Catalonia on Tuesday asked that he be released from jail, having accepted he no longer holds authority in the Spanish region whose leaders want independence.

Oriol Junqueras has been in custody since November 2 while a judge investigates him and other former regional ministers, including the deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

In a note presented by lawyers to the Supreme Court, Junqueras and three other axed ministers in the formerly semi-autonomous region admitted that they have been dismissed.

They "accept the application of Article 155", the constitutional provision which allowed the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to suspend Catalonia's regional authority on October 27.

That step followed Puigdemont's declaration of independence, after a referendum on secession that took place on October 1, despite a court ban. Puigdemont is in self-imposed exile in Belgium.

According to the court note, Junqueras and his fellow detainees accept Madrid's authority over Catalonia despite having "the deepest political and legal disagreement".

"They do not give up their political beliefs in strictly peaceful and democratic ways and will work to reach an agreement that puts the decision on the future of Catalonia in the hands of citizens," it added.

Rajoy dissolved the Catalan parliament and has announced elections to be held there on December 21 in a bid to "restore normality" to the region.

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