CATALAN president Quim Torra has pledged to “denounce internationally” the trials of political prisoners who have been locked up for over a year for their part in the October 2017 independence referendum.

Speaking in the Catalan Parliament, he said the Catalan crisis was already internationalised, but it was impossible for the trials of the “1-O” accused – which are expected to begin in January – to be fair.

Torra said: “We will denounce it internationally every day.

“I will dedicate myself in the coming months to go through the world.”

He said the continuing row over political control of the Spanish judicial system, in which Spain’s two main parties – the Socialists (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and the People’s Party (PP) – were implicated in a leaked WhatsApp message, had resulted in a “loss of prestige” for the judiciary.

Torra later acted to end speculation that the sentencing of those involved in the referendum could be a trigger for an early election in Catalonia.

He told digital newspaper El Mon: “It would be irresponsible to call elections, I have never raised it, neither at this time nor when there are the sentences of the Supreme Court. I think the solution does not go through elections, but to fulfil the mandate we have.”

He said that when the sentences were passed, Catalan society had to “confront it as a challenge similar to that of 1-O”.

Torra said he has opted to start work now in fashioning the response to the sentences “in a unitary manner”.

The president added: “If we do not recover the spirit of 1-O it is impossible that in the next attack we will achieve it, and we must be able to find this unity of action of the independence movement.”