From his office in Calle Marqués de la Ensenada in Madrid, and with just a few keystrokes, the Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena has again interfered with the normal function of the Catalan Parliament. Only 24 hours after the official photographs attesting to the easing of tension between Pedro Sánchez and Quim Torra in La Moncloa, the judge ended his formal investigation into the case against the leaders of the independence process and announced the suspension of the five MPs being held on remand -Jordi Sánchez, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull (JxCat) and Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva (ERC) and Carles Puigdemont.
The legislation the judge bases his suspension on was used mainly to ensure prisoners charged with terrorist acts could take up their seat in parliament, in clear reference to armed and violent offenders in the Basque separatist organisation ETA.
The judge himself has no powers to impose the order but can require the Speaker of the Catalan parliament to impose the suspension. If Roger Torrent in this case should fail to do so, he could be charged with disobedience, although the judge has not made clear what the consequences would actually be.