The judges of Spain’s Constitutional Court (CC) are dragging their feet on Catalonia’s former vice president Oriol Junqueras, and won’t clarify when they will rule on the appeal filed against his pre-trial imprisonment. A lawyer for the ERC leader yesterday asked the Court to inform him if it planned to resolve the case before the trial and warned that, if not, he will take legal action before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR). Now the plenary court of the CC has unanimously responded that it is continuing to study the appeal due to the "complexity and importance" of the brief and bearing in mind that their decision will become "a reference" for the other Catalan political prisoners.
In a short press release, the court reminded that once the study phase of all the writings of the Supreme Court related to provisional imprisonment has been concluded, "it will agree on what is pertinent to its resolution and the situation of the appeal". It indicated that it will not rule before the trial of the prisoners starts.
To be able to appeal to the ECHR with guarantees, Junqueras needs to exhaust all legal recourse within Spain. And the CC has been delaying the rulings on most of the defense appeals, especially those related to the preventive imprisonment. In the midst of the political prisoners’ hunger strike in December, court sources said they would be responding in January, but the plenary session has been putting it off due to lack of unanimity, and now the trial is just around the corner.