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Catalan parliament speaker to appear before Spain's Supreme Court

Catalan parliament speaker to appear before Spain's Supreme Court

The crimes under investigation of Catalan lawmakers are punishable under Spanish law with up to 30 years in prison.

Forcadell was the person who read the results and officially passed the independence bill, now annulled by Spain's Constitutional Court. The four lawmakers must pay bail of 25,000 euros while a fifth was released without bail.

The Catalan independence push has deeply divided Spain, dragging it into its worst political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago and fuelling anti-Spanish sentiment in Catalonia and nationalist tendencies elsewhere.

On Oct. 27, Catalonia's separatist-led parliament voted to declare independence from Spain.

A source said Forcadell arrived at the Alcala Meco prison near Madrid after midnight (2300 GMT on Thursday). The Madrid judge also ordered that her passport be confiscated.

Carme Forcadell spent the night in jail as part of a rebellion investigation following the parliament's declaration of the region's independence.

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

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The judge jailed Forcadell and four other parliament members Thursday but set bail after they agreed to either renounce future political activity or do it within the constitutional framework.

The Spanish High Court has also issued a European arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont, former Catalan president, and four other members of his Cabinet who are now in Belgium.

Forcadell earlier told the Supreme Court that the declaration was not legally binding, according to court sources, in a comment that could undermine the secessionist push.

-A Spanish judge on Thursday freed on bail the Catalan parliament's speaker and four lawmakers while authorities continue to investigate their roles in Catalonia's banned independence drive. 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.

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.

All of them are being investigated for rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of funds for their roles in the October 27 declaration of independence passed in Catalonia's Parliament.


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