A FORMER senior Spanish judge has cast doubt on the likely success of rebellion and sedition charges against imprisoned independence activists in Catalonia.

Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC1, Pascual Sala, who headed the country’s constitutional and supreme courts, said “disorders” such as disobedience which related to last October’s referendum were possible, but proving a violent public uprising would be “legally difficult”. He said: “It is very difficult, if not impossible, for me to say that there is a crime of rebellion, not to mention that it seems problematic for me to have a crime of sedition.

“From the political point of view, prisons do not help solve political problems.”

His remarks came as demonstrations were planned to mark the first anniversary of the incarceration of civic leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, on charges relating to their part in the indyref.

A defiant Cuixart tweeted: “Fighting for freedom and human rights is a privilege. One year in jail, no steps backwards: more courage and dignity than ever.”

Human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson said: “All supporters of democracy, including Amnesty International, recognise this man as a political prisoner. We demand his immediate release. Jordi Cuixart: A National hero and a beacon of light in this dark phase of Catalonia’s history.”