Sànchez, Turull and Rull file new appeal with Spain’s Constitutional Court after fresh ECHR ruling

Strasbourg’s European Court of Human Rights has urged Turkey to release a Kurdish leader who was jailed two years ago

MARIONA FERRER I FORNELLS

The legal counsel of jailed Catalan leaders Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull have lodged four new appeals with the Constitutional Court requesting the release of the political prisoners and their full reinstatement as members of the Catalan parliament. Their barrister, Jordi Pina, points to new jurisprudence from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) following its verdict on the case of Kurdish presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas, of the Peoples' Democratic Party, who was jailed ahead of the elections.

On November 20 Strasbourg urged Turkey to “take the necessary steps to end the pre-trial detention” of Mr Demirtas, who has been held on remand for over two years. According to the ruling, his detention can be justified, but prolonging the Kurdish leader’s imprisonment “has pursued the predominant ulterior motive of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate”.

Now the defence of Sànchez, Rull and Turull have asked to include this jurisprudence in every appeal on grounds of unconstitutionality already lodged with the Spanish Constitutional Court as they await the court’s decision. This is now in the hands of former Public Prosecutor Cándido Conde-Pumpidó, who has stated that he wishes to deal with the appeals grouped by theme and unanimously, given the lack of a precedent. According to Pina, there is “an obvious similarity between the ECHR ruling” and the case of Catalonia’s political prisoners.

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