Spain’s Top Court Rejects Catalonia Lawsuit

(CN) – Spain’s Constitutional Court said Friday it won’t hear a lawsuit filed by Catalonia’s now-defunct government against the measures Spain’s central government has taken to stifle the region’s secession bid.

The court said Friday that it couldn’t consider the suit because Catalonia’s regional government had filed it “prematurely.”

Specifically, it said the suit was filed before Spain’s Senate had voted to activate Article 155 of the Constitution, which gives the central government extra powers to re-establish the rule of law in a region.

The court also ruled to strike down three complementary laws passed by separatist lawmakers in Catalonia’s parliament as part of the region’s illegal referendum on secession on Oct. 1.

The court had already ruled on Oct. 17 that the convocation of the referendum was illegal since only Spain’s Parliament can handle questions of national sovereignty and because the Constitution says Spain is “indivisible.”

In related legal wrangling, lawyers for two pro-independence activists jailed last month are arguing that the pair should be released because the political situation in Catalonia has changed since they first became subjects of a sedition probe.

Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the leaders of Assemblea Nacional Catalana and Omnium Cultural, are under investigation for allegedly orchestrating protests that hindered Spain’s efforts to halt preparations for a banned independence referendum.

The two grassroots groups spearheaded the movement to achieve Catalonian independence.

Sanchez’s lawyer, Jordi Pina, told reporters Friday that “political circumstances have changed” since his client was taken into custody. A week ago, Spain’s central authorities took over running Catalonia, removed the regional government from office, and called an election for later this year.

A National Court panel of judges is expected to rule on the request in the next few days.

%d bloggers like this: