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Spanish Senate suspends jailed Catalan separatist

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Madrid (AFP)

Spain's Senate on Wednesday in suspended from parliament jailed Catalan leader Raul Romeva, who was elected to the upper house of parliament last month and sworn in last week.

The Socialist vice-president of the Senate, Cristina Narbona, said the decision was based on a report by the assembly's lawyers who concluded that Romeva had to be automatically suspended since he is in jail while on trial for rebellion over his role in Catalonia's failed 2017 independence bid.

Spain's Congress, the lower house of parliament, on Friday suspended four other jailed Catalan leaders who were elected to the assembly during an April 28 general election and who are on trial along with Romeva.

The Supreme Court allowed the five men to temporarily leave jail on May 21 to be sworn in during the opening sessions of the two assemblies.

Romeva, who was in charge of Catalonia's foreign affairs at the time of Catalonia's secession attempt in 2017, is one of 12 Catalan leaders currently on trial at Spain's Supreme Court in Madrid over the secession bid. Prosecutors are seeking a 16 year jail term for Romeva.

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