REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s state attorney on Monday recommended the release of Catalan separatist leader Oriol Junqueras from prison in what was widely seen as a gesture of political goodwill as the Socialist Party seeks support to form a government.
The state attorney’s office asked the Supreme Court to let Junqueras go to Brussels to take his seat as a European MP. He was sentenced in October to 13 years in prison over his role in a failed 2017 bid for Catalan independence.
Junqueras was elected to the European Parliament in May while he was awaiting the verdict in his case in jail. The European Union’s top court said this month that Junqueras was entitled to immunity as an EU lawmaker.
The Spanish Supreme Court is expected to give a ruling in coming weeks.
The state attorney’s opinion was widely anticipated as the Socialists are trying to persuade Junqueras’s party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) to back a Socialist-led government.
The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and ERC have been meeting regularly since a Nov. 10 election that saw the Socialists emerge as the winner but fall short of a majority in a fragmented parliament.