November 28, 2017 / 1:13 PM / a year ago

Jailed former Catalan vice-president accepts Madrid rule -lawyer

MADRID, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Imprisoned former vice-president of Catalonia Oriol Junqueras and three other jailed members of his ERC party will abide by a ruling giving Madrid control over the region, their defence lawyer said on Tuesday.

Junqueras and seven other former members of the Catalonia regional cabinet were jailed Nov. 2, pending trial, after they were accused of taking part in an illegal declaration of independence from the rest of Spain.

The defendants hope that acceptance of Madrid’s rule over the region could prompt the Supreme Court to overrule their custody and release them in time to run for the Dec. 21 election.

Catalonia’s secession drive has tipped Spain into it worst political crisis since the country’s transition to a democracy in the seventies and prompted Madrid to sack the local government and call the election.

In a statement to the Supreme Court, the lawyer said the defendants did not agree with the application of Article 155, which stripped the regional government of its power after the secessionist ruling, but accepted it.

“My charges accepted, and accept, the application of 155 ... but have done so from a position of deep political and judicial discrepancy,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer added that the statement does not mean that they renounce their political convictions. (Reporting by Raquel Castillo; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Jesus Aguado)

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