Puigdemont and his allies face 30 years in Spanish jail

Protesters face off with Mossos d'Esquadra Catalan regional police as they attempt to reach the Spanish government office headquarters after Spain's Supreme Court ruled twenty-five Catalan leaders will be tried for rebellion embezzlement or disobeying

The protests came after the Spanish Supreme Court detained five Catalan separatist leaders, including Catalan presidential candidate Jordi Turull.

Turull was one of the five politicians who responded to a court summons, only to find that Judge Llarena had made a decision to send them to jail, denying them bail.

He was due to appear in court Friday along with several other leading separatists. The protesters are called as "Mossos" in Spain.

If he returns to Spain, Puigdemont faces up to 25 years in prison on charges of rebellion and sedition for his part in organising an illegal referendum on secession last 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.

A Supreme Court judge held former Catalan parliament president Carme Forcadell and three former regional ministers alongside Turull.

Spain's Supreme Court said Friday 13 key Catalan separatists would be prosecuted for "rebellion" as Marta Rovira became the latest leading pro-independence figure to flee overseas to escape charges over the region's breakaway bid.

Rovira ignored the summons and announced she was taking "the road to exile".

Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont left Finland before authorities could act on a Spanish arrest warrant, a Finnish MP says.

The central government has been running Catalonia from Madrid since snatching away Catalonia's regional powers over the October breakaway vote, which courts have ruled unconstitutional. One of them, Clara Ponsati, has since moved on to Scotland.

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

Protesters face off with Mossos d'Esquadra Catalan regional police as they gather near the Spanish government office headquarters after Spain's Supreme Court ruled twenty-five Catalan leaders will be tried for rebellion embezzlement or disobeying the
Spain rejects plan to install nationalist Catalan leader

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.

They want to be heard.

Earlier, representatives of the parties standing for Spain's territorial integrity also demanded to cancel the vote.

"Long live a Catalan Republic for all!"
He described the case as "an attack on the constitutional state ... of unusual gravity and persistence".

The crisis was sparked by a referendum, banned by Madrid, which led to the declaration of independence.

Since then, the Spanish region has been in a state of political limbo. Thirteen of the defendants have been charged with rebellion by Judge Llarena.

The supreme court judge did not mention the treatment meted out by police on voters queueing by polling stations, images of which were flashed around the world.

Mr. Turull argued that he was being sent to jail for remaining "loyal" to his political mandate, as an elected separatist politician.

Sixty-five lawmakers voted against him, while the four members of far-left group CUP broke ranks with the rest of parliament's pro-independence bloc by abstaining.

A leadership vote for Mr Turull had been due to take place on Saturday.

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