Spanish court again blocks Catalan separatist's power bid

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Spain's Supreme Court has turned down for a second time a request by a jailed leader of Catalonia's independence movement to be released so that regional lawmakers can vote on making him their leader.

Judge Pablo Llarena said in a ruling published Thursday there remained a risk that Jordi Sanchez, a prominent secessionist, would repeat the offenses that landed him in a Madrid jail.

Llarena says the only new argument in Sanchez's latest request was a reference to the U.N.'s Human Rights Committee calling for Spain to respect the rights of arrested Catalan separatists. The judge said the U.N. body had made no specific demand that might be binding on the Supreme Court.

Sanchez, who was elected to the Catalan parliament in December, hoped to attend a parliamentary session Friday.