Ex-parliament Speaker of Catalonia Forcadell Granted Bail

The Supreme Court had summoned them to answer charges of rebellion after they enabled an October 27 independence declaration that prompted the Spanish government to dissolve the Catalan parliament and sack the regional administration

The Supreme Court had summoned them to answer charges of rebellion after they enabled an October 27 independence declaration that prompted the Spanish government to dissolve the Catalan parliament and sack the regional administration

A Spanish judge also freed four other Catalan lawmakers on bail today.

A Supreme Court judge ordered the release of Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell after the 150,000 euros ($175,000) bail was posted Friday.

Puigdemont and his former vice president, Oriol Junqueras, are the two main leaders behind the secession bid, which last month led to a unilateral declaration of independence that Spain thwarted when it imposed direct rule.

About 30 people have gathered outside the Spanish Embassy in Latvia's capital over the Catalonia political crisis "to tell authorities there that they must respect the rights of those who want independence".

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Four other Catalan lawmakers, who appeared themselves in court after being summoned, had to pay a 25,000-euro guarantee.

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

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

Six members of Catalonia's parliament, including speaker Carme Forcadell, were granted bail Thursday after testifying before Spain's Supreme Court on charges of rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of public funds. The 58-year-old Forcadell, is under investigation about her role in proclaiming the independence of Catalonia. One of the two groups, the National Catalan Assembly that was formerly headed by Forcadell, said Friday it had paid her bail.

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The struggle has also divided Catalonia itself and caused deep resentment across the rest of Spain, although separatist sentiment persists in the Basque Country and some other areas.

Forcadell, long one of the leading figures of the Catalan independence movement, testified Thursday that the independence declaration was "symbolic", according to lawyers familiar with the proceedings. 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.

The Supreme Court had summoned them to answer charges of rebellion after they enabled an October 27 declaration of independence that prompted the Spanish government to dissolve the Catalan parliament and sack the regional administration.

Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis told Cope radio it "remains to be seen" if she will keep her word, adding that if she doesn't, he expected the judge to review the release decision.

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Former regional president Carles Puigdemont and four other ex-cabinet members fled to Belgium where they are fighting extradition.

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