Catalonia Leaders Offered Bail

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Catalan lawmakers who have been accused of rebellion in the Catalonia case have been granted bail by a Spanish judge who sits on the Spanish Supreme Court. They were granted the bail late on Thursday by Judge Pablo Llarena. The speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, was ordered by the judge to pay a bail of 150,000 euros or $175,000 as bail. The Judge said that she played a part in the crisis by reading the declaration of independence of Catalonia from Spain. This happened on 27 October, a few hours after the motion to separate was approved by the lawmakers who wanted to separate from Madrid. On the other hand, the remaining four lawmakers were ordered to pay 25,000 euros each which is approximately $25,000. However, the sixth lawmaker was released by the Madrid judge without bail. The judge announced in his ruling that the five leaders were allowed to post bail as they had promised that they would step down from politics. Others were allowed bail because they promised the judge that should they resume politics, it will be within the framework provided by the constitution. Soon after the ruling, the speaker of the Catalan parliament was remanded to a jail in Madrid. Her lawyers said that she would post bail on Friday.

Soon after Madrid dissolved the Catalonian government last month, the attorney general ordered that 20 politicians from the region should be prosecuted for a number of charges. Some of the charges that were recommended by the attorney general include rebellion and sedition. They were also accused of wasting public funds in organizing a referendum that allowed them to illegally declare independence. At the moment, the 20 leaders are being prosecuted in two separate courts. This is because some leaders such as Ms. Forcadell and some few leaders are still under parliamentary immunity. This means that they can only be prosecuted by the Supreme Court rather than the National Court. Just some few days ago, eight of the 20 officials were remanded to a Madrid jail without bail by a judge of the National Court. Only one politician was granted bail. The judge said that the member of the Catalonian government had resigned a day before the other leaders declared independence. The Spanish government has set 21st December as the date that Catalonians will choose new leaders. The jailing of these leaders has, therefore, become a major campaign issue ahead of the polls next month.

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