Catalan's parliament speaker faces jail


Catalan's parliament speaker faces jail

One of the two groups, the National Catalan Assembly that was formerly headed by Forcadell, said Friday it had paid her bail.

Spain's Supreme Court says a judge has ordered the release of Catalan parliament speaker after bail has been posted.

The speaker of Catalonia's parliament has been told she must pay a £130,000 bail after being held on rebellion charges for her role in the region's declaration of independence.

Spain's foreign minister says time will tell if Catalonia's jailed top lawmaker will stop acting outside the constitution once freed, as she has reportedly pledged.

Prosecutors had asked Llarena to jail Forcadell and three other lawmakers without bail.

Judge Pablo Llarena wrote in the ruling: 'All the accused. have expressed that either they renounce future political activity or, those that remain active, will do it renouncing any actions outside the constitutional framework'.

"Nevertheless, the range of charges raised by the prosecution could carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years".

Forcadell and five other members of the Catalan parliament were charged with rebellion, sedition and the misuse of public funds related to the Catalan independence process.

Spain's High Court issued an arrest warrant last week on sedition and rebellion charges for Puigdemont and four former members of his cabinet who are also in Brussels. Forcadell's attorney, Andreu Van den Eynde, said he plans to appeal the Supreme Court's decision, saying he didn't understand why her release terms were harsher than those of her co-defendants.

According to Spanish law, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria is now the official leader of Catalonia.

After the declaration, Madrid dismissed Catalonia's government, dissolved parliament, suspended the region's autonomy and called new elections for the region next month.

Catalonia, with 7.5 million people, represents a fifth of Spain's gross domestic product and polls show its people roughly evenly divided over independence.

Lawmakers opted to split from Spain, claiming they had a mandate after a referendum on October 1 in which 90 percent of voters backed secession.



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