Catalan speaker spends night in custody

Catalan speaker spends night in custody

MADRID – Agence France-Presse
Catalan speaker spends night in custody

The sacked speaker of Catalonia’s parliament was preparing to leave a prison near Madrid on Nov. 10 as supporters posted her 150,000-euro bail a day after she was detained over her region’s independence drive.

A judge at the Supreme Court in Madrid on Nov. 9 ordered Carme Forcadell to be held on charges of “rebellion” -- which carries a maximum jail term of 30 years -- as Spain’s worst political crisis in a generation rumbles on.

Forcadell is one of several dismissed Catalan officials to be detained after their shock decision last month to declare the region of 7.5 million people independent from Spain.

A source said Forcadell arrived at the Alcala Meco jail near Madrid after midnight (2300 GMT on Nov. 9).

A court spokeswoman said on Nov. 10 that the 150,000 bond had been paid. “We’re just waiting for the judge’s order to free her,” she told reporters.

The influential pro-independence ANC lobby group had earlier called for donations to cover Forcadell’s bail.

The Catalan crisis has caused shockwaves across the European Union, prompting hundreds of businesses to re-register outside of the wealthy northeastern region.

Lawmakers opted to split from Spain after a disputed Oct. 1 referendum saw 90 percent of voters back secession.

Opponents of independence say that vote was deeply flawed and Catalans themselves remain split over separating from the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.