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Catalan Parliament Speaker Granted Bail Over Independence Vote

  • VOA News

Ex-speaker of the Catalonia parliament Carme Forcadell (C) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Nov. 9, 2017.

A Supreme Court judge in Spain had ruled Catalan parliament speaker can be released on bail, pending an investigation into her role in the push for independence.

But, Carme Forcadell will remain in custody until she can post the $175,000 bail.

Four other Catalan leaders were granted $29,000 bail and one was set free.

Forcadell reportedly told the court the independence vote was “declarative and symbolic” – an apparent step to minimize liability if she is charged with disobeying the Constitutional Court.

Forcadell's spokesman said as Catalan parliamentary speaker she did not "have the freedom to stop a vote" in the chamber on independence.

Within hours of the parliamentary vote, the Madrid government disbanded the Catalonian parliament and removed its president, calling for new elections to be held on December 21.

The independence declaration was annulled Wednesday by Spain’s Constitutional Court, which had initially suspended the declaration last month.

Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four of his ministers have fled to Belgium, where they are challenging Spain's arrest and extradition orders.

Eight of Puigdemont's former ministers and two activists were jailed while the Spanish court considers possible charges of rebellion against them.

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