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Spain rejects plan to install nationalist Catalan leader

Spain rejects plan to install nationalist Catalan leader

Occasional clashes broke out between riot police and protesters as the large crowds pushed against police cordons, La Vanguardia reports.

One of those taken into custody was Jordi Turull who was to be the subject of a vote in the Catalan parliament on Saturday for regional president.

Spain's Supreme Court ruled that 25 leaders of the autonomous region of Catalonia should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement, or disobeying the state.

One of the leaders facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted, Marta Rovira, earlier said she had already fled Spain, joining six others in exile.

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont faces arrest in Finland after authorities there received an worldwide warrant for his detention issued by Spain, the latest legal action against separatist politicians from the wealthy northeastern region.

Marta Rovira, the head of the Catalan Republican Left party who was also summoned to the High Court, announced Friday she had left Spain to live in exile in Switzerland.

Llarena said the five detainees posed a serious flight risk and could seek to push ahead with their plans for unilateral independence if allowed to remain at liberty.

Recall that Catalonia declared independence from Spain in October 2017 after a political back-and-forth between the regional and national governments.

Demonstrations also took place in other parts of Catalonia.

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Along with him the Judge passed orders to to arrest without bail, all former regional legislators like Josep Rull, Raul Romeva and Dolors Bassa as well as the ex-president of the parliament, Carme Forcadell.

Several separatist leaders, including former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras, have been in custody since past year.

Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent said on Friday he would continue with the session and read a statement in support of pro-independence leaders, despite opposition from the government and unionist parties in Catalonia.

In a 70-page ruling, Llarena noted that, from 2012 onwards, the Catalan government had been "drawing up a route map for Catalonia's transition process towards becoming an independent country" and co-ordinating the campaign with Cuixart and Sànchez's influential grassroots groups.

Since then, the Spanish region has been in a state of political limbo.

But the separatist majority proved to be a failure in electing a regional government in a Thursday vote.

He was due to appear in court Friday along with several other leading separatists. Parties have two months to propose and elect a presidential candidate.

The court's decision will likely put an end to a planned vote this Saturday at the Catalan regional parliament to pick a new leader after Mr Puigdemont's departure a year ago.

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