Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Catalan parliament speaker released from custody after posting bail

At the march, organised by Catalonia's two main grassroots independence groups, activists waved Catalan flags and held yellow banners with the word "Freedom".

A court spokeswoman said Friday that the 150,000-euro bond had been paid.

A top Catalan lawmaker on Friday left a Madrid prison where she spent the night after posting the bail a Spanish judge imposed as part of a wide-ranging rebellion investigation stemming from Catalonia's declaration of independence.

The Supreme Court has released the Catalonia's lawmaker after four other Catalan legislators were set free the day before after being told to pay each 25,000 euros of bail money within a week.

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A source said Forcadell arrived at the Alcala Meco prison near Madrid after midnight (2300 GMT on Thursday).

"The independence movement is still going strong", he added.

Eight members of the now-defunct Catalan government remain jailed in a related rebellion case. Most opposition MPs boycotted the session.

Spain's Constitutional Court warned that the parliament's October 27 vote declaring a new Catalan republic would be illegal.

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The Spanish government responded by seizing control of the wealthy north-eastern region, the first time in the four decades since General Francisco Franco's dictatorship ended that Madrid removed powers from any of the country's 17 regions.

Saturday's protests also acted somewhat as a campaign appearance by the ousted Catalan leader, and messages were read from other politicians behind bars who also look set to run to be the next Catalan president in the upcoming December 21 regional election.

The poll was declared illegal by Spain, and the crisis has caused concern in the European Union amid uncertainty over the fate of the region's 7.5 million people.

The result of the 1 October referendum was 90% for "yes", but it was secured on a low turnout of just over 40%.

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