Catalan parliament Speaker walks free from Spanish jail

The speaker of Catalonia's Parliament had presided over votes to allow a separatist referendum and the region's declaration of independence from the rest of Spain.

Published: 11th November 2017 11:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2017 11:57 AM   |  A+A-

People hold up 'esteladas', or Catalonia independence flag, outside the National Court in Madrid. | AP


MADRID: The speaker of Catalonia's Parliament, who had presided over votes to allow a separatist referendum and the region's declaration of independence from the rest of Spain, left jail on Friday after raising bail as stipulated by a Supreme Court judge who set paying a financial bond as a condition for her release.

Carme Forcadell has spent the night at Madrid's Alacalá Meco jail after giving testimony before judge Pablo Llanera, who opted to set bail of $175,000 instead of applying an unconditional prison sentence as requested by Spain's Prosecutor, Efe reported.

Forcadell had committed herself to comply with the conditions set by Spain's constitution in future political actions.

During her testimony, she said that the application of Article 155, which stripped Catalonia's autonomy and installed direct rule from Madrid, was legitimate and added that the unilateral declaration of independence had been purely symbolic.

Forcadell's lawyer, Adreu van den Eynde, arrived at the jail to accompany her after ensuring the bail sum had been paid by the treasurer of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, a pro-independence organization that she was formerly the president of.

The decision to free Forcadell was signed by the Supreme Court and then communicated to prison authorities.

Llanera had on Thursday opted to release the other four other members of Forcadell's parliamentary office, deputy speaker Luís Maria Corominas as well as lawmakers Lluís Guinó, Ramona Barrufet and Anna Simó on bail of 25,000 euros.

The judge took no action against Joan Josep Nuet, who had voted against the declaration of independence on Oct. 27.



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