The leader of the Catalan ERC party and European Parliament candidate Oriol Junqueras speaks from Soto del Real prison in Madrid, Friday, May 24, 2019, during an interview via video conference with The Associated Press in Barcelona, Spain. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Spanish Parliament suspends jailed Catalans as lawmakers

May 24, 2019 - 6:59 am

MADRID (AP) — The lower chamber of Spain's Parliament has suspended four Catalan separatist politicians from their recently gained positions as national lawmakers because they are currently in jail during an ongoing trial for rebellion and other charges.

Speaker Meritxell Batet says that the governing body of the Congress of Deputies ruled on Friday to suspend the former Vice President of the Catalonia region, Oriol Junqueras, and three more pro-independence leaders in line with the country's criminal code.

The four politicians, and a fifth who won a seat in the Senate, were elected last month. Spain's Supreme Court granted them permission earlier this week to attend the opening parliamentary sessions of the new legislative term, escorted by police.

Junqueras is also a candidate for the European Parliament in elections that take place on Sunday in Spain.

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