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    Demonstrators gather during a protest in support of the imprisoned politicians and against article 155, which means the Madrid government taking direct control of Catalonia, in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, May 21, 2018

    Spanish Interior Minister Not Ruling Out Moving Jailed Catalan Officials

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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the Spanish government was open to moving Catalan politicians, kept in jails outside Madrid, to prisons in the autonomous region.

    "At the moment, they are in prisons, located near the courts which are dealing with their cases… However, if a person is not summoned to court for five or six months and there is a permission of a judge… one can consider the possibility of moving [such person] on the basis of personal circumstances," Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told the Onda Cero radio station.

    Nine Catalan politicians, including ex-speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell and Oriol Junqueras, the former deputy to the deposed Catalan leader, are in prisons near Madrid over their involvement in the region's declaration of independence in October. They have repeatedly requested to be transferred to jails in Catalonia.

    READ MORE: Madrid Lifts Control Over Catalan Finances — Minister

    On June 8, Spain's new government lifted financial controls on the Catalan Generalitat as part of its efforts to resolve the secessionist crisis in the autonomous region.

    On October 1, Catalonia held an independence referendum, in which the vast majority of voters backed the region's secession from Spain.

    The plebiscite was not recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the region and dismissed its government.


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