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Former Catalan leader seeks bail after two months in prison

IANS | Madrid |

Former Catalan deputy leader Oriol Junqueras, who is also the leader of the pro-independence Esquerra Republicana (ERC), appeared in the Spanish Supreme Court on Thursday to appeal against the decision to maintain him in preventive custody without bail.

Junqueras was sent to prison on November 2, facing charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds, Xinhua news agency reported.

He has previously been denied bail at the start of December, with the judge arguing there was a risk of repeat offending, while other former members of the Catalan regional government were allowed to leave.

Junqueras’ court appearance follows the regional election in Catalonia on December 21.

Spain’s pro-unity Catalan party Ciudadanos won the most votes by gaining 37 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.

But the pro-independence bloc consisting of three parties — JuntsxCat, ERC and CUP — secured an absolute majority of 70 seats in the parliament.

A decision is expected on Junqueras’ request in the next few days.