FORMER Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras has been denied permission to make formal preparations to become a Member of the European Parliament.

All Spain’s 59 MEPs-elect are due to attend a Central Electoral Board (JEC) meeting in Madrid on Monday, where they will swear to uphold the constitution before collecting their official documentation.

However, the Supreme Court yesterday refused Junqueras permission to attend, saying it would involve it losing “judicial control”.

He is one of the political leaders who has been in so-called “preventative detention” for almost 20 months and whose trial over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum ended earlier this week.

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The court’s move is in line with the view of Spain’s Prosecutor’s Office, but goes against the state attorney, who was in favour of Junqueras being sworn in. The court said: “It would involve, at the outset, the loss of judicial control over the precautionary measure [prison] … from the moment the accused left Spanish territory.”

The document also makes an indirect reference to former president Carles Puigdemont – also elected a Spanish MEP – who is in exile in Brussels, where he has established the House of the Republic.

“Brussels, in addition, is the place where one of those in rebellion claims to have installed the headquarters of the government of the Catalan Republic in exile, from which he would chair the presidency,” said the judges.

They added that Junqueras – who leads the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) – could still be given his right of participation in Europe, saying: “The formula that is now adopted does not imply an irreversible loss of the right of participation of the applicant. It only implies a temporary postponement, until, depending on the possible outcome of the process [trial].”

Puigdemont took to social media to voice his anger, minutes after the decision was announced.

He tweeted: “This is not only a shame and an injustice. It is the shameless demonstration of the arbitrariness and the manipulation of justice to be able to alter the electoral results. @junqueras won his seat by the votes of the citizens. And their rights cannot be violated.”

Lawyer Gonzalo Boye, meanwhile, who represents Puigdemont and former minister and MEP-elect Toni Comín, said they had worked out a clear strategy to enable them to take their European Parliament seats.

He told state broadcaster Catalonia Radio: “Without a doubt, both Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín will be [there] on the second day of the European Parliament. People have to be calm, we know what we are doing. And, unlike the JEC and the Supreme, we never improvise.”