SPAIN’S Constitutional Court (TC) will hear the appeals of jailed pro-Catalan independence leaders next month – including that of Jordi Sànchez, one of four political prisoners on hunger strike.

The former head of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) will have to wait until January, along with Jordi Cuixart and former vice president Oriol Junqueras. Anna Gabriel, Mireia Boya and Carme Forcadell, who are challenging the court’s jurisdiction over their cases, will be heard next week – the first appeals over their role in the October 2017 independence referendum.

Sànchez, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull, along with Joaquim Forn, are refusing food in protest at the court blocking their access to the European Court of Human Rights.

The court has accepted around 30 appeals from Catalan leaders, and sources say two or three could be dealt with each time the 12 judges meet.

Those accepted this week from Sànchez, Rull and Turull call for a ruling by the Strasbourg court which condemned the pre-trial detention of a Kurdish politician in Turkey, to be applied in their cases.

On the fourth day of his hunger strike, meanwhile, Turull told Catalan Radio station RAC1 that he was coping well so far.

“I thought it would be worse; I feel like I’m floating,” he said yesterday. “I have not eaten anything at all. The first day I was very aware. And on Sunday they made the best meal of the month: cannelloni and chicken. It was a real test … I was sitting next to colleagues who ate it.”

Turull said their appeals should have been heard within 30 days, and they had seen cases lodged after theirs’ long since settled.

However, he said he was looking forward to the trial, which is expected to start early in the New Year: “I want to make many things clear. I was in a government that organised a referendum? Yes, but it’s decriminalising. Did I vote for the independence of Catalonia? Yes, but I did it without violence.

“It is the key to [convict] return for rebellion. And they should tell me clearly at what moment they place the rebellion ... If they put it on September 20, I was not there ...

“If they put it on October 1, they tell me what is violent to announce at eight in the morning – as I had to do – that everyone could vote in any school.

He said they wanted people to vote, but that was all.

“And if the rebellion places it on October 27, the Jordis were already in jail and, therefore, they cannot be accused of this …. The complaint is November 2. In what country in the world is there a coup d’état and the state reacts two months to make a complaint? It’s surreal.”