Spain: Five “Prisoners” Became Deputies

In a paradox that reflects the strength of the protest movement led by Catalonia, which seeks secession from Spain, five Catalan separatists arrested and prosecuted in Madrid were elected deputies on Sunday in the Spanish elections won by the Socialists.

The five detainees are currently on trial for their role in trying to secede Catalonia in 2017.

Among them is the former deputy prime minister of Catalonia, Oriole Khonkiras, the main defendant in the trial, which began on February 12 and faces a 25-year sentence if convicted of rebellion and misuse of public funds in a referendum last year.

Khonkiras was elected deputy leader of the Catalan Republican Left party, while former Raul Romiva, a former foreign affairs official in the Catalan government, was elected as a senator.

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Three other separatist prisoners, Jordi Sanchez, Yordi Turol and Josep Roll, were also elected members of the “Together for Catalonia” party, according to Agence France-Presse.

Catalan separatist parties won 22 of the 350 seats in parliament, a victory for the protest movement.

The Catalan bloc could play a key role in the upcoming consultations, especially since  Socialist Pedro Sanchez won the elections without being able to obtain the absolute majority and would therefore be forced to build alliances with other parties to govern.

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In a paradox that reflects the strength of the protest movement led by Catalonia, which seeks secession from Spain, five Catalan separatists arrested and prosecuted in Madrid were elected deputies on Sunday in the Spanish elections won by the Socialists.

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