Catalan Speaker in Madrid court

Posted November 11, 2017

A top Catalan lawmaker who spent the night in a Madrid region prison as part of a wide-ranging rebellion investigation stemming from the Spanish region's declaration of independence has been released after posting bail.

Forcadell was the person who read the results and officially passed the independence bill, now annulled by Spain's Constitutional Court.

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

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

Catalonia parliament speaker Carme Forcadell is driven in a auto outside of the Spain's Supreme Court in Madrid, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

Forcadell left the Alcala Meco jail close to Madrid in an official Catalan parliament vehicle shortly after 2 p.m. (1300 GMT).

The sacked speaker of Catalonia's parliament left a prison near Madrid on Friday hours after supporters posted her bail of 150 000 euros ($175,000), ending her brief detention over the region's controversial independence drive. The Madrid judge also ordered that her passport be confiscated. The 58-year-old Forcadell, is under investigation about her role in proclaiming the independence of Catalonia.

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.

A judge may decide to detain Carme Forcadell and five former lawmakers on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds after Catalan lawmakers voted last month to split from Spain.

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. If she doesn't, Dastis expects the judge to consider revoking Forcadell's bail. Van den Eynde said the judge's decision had come too late on Thursday for Forcadell that day, adding that she would remain in custody until at least Friday.

The High Court last week issued an arrest warrant on rebellion charges for Mr. Puigdemont, the former regional government president, and four former members of his cabinet who are with him in Brussels.