MADRID (Sputnik) — Carme Forcadell, the former president of the Catalan parliament, and five other members of a now dissolved parliamentary board are testifying before the Supreme Court of Spain in Madrid on Thursday over the declaration of Catalonia's independence on October 27.
"The prosecutor's office has brought an action against them with regard to the process aimed at the autonomous region's secession," the Supreme Court said in a statement.
The parliamentary board in question was the one that decided to submit the resolution on Catalonia's independence to the parliament for a vote. The prosecutor's office has brought charges of insurrection, rebellion and misappropriation of state assets against the members of the Catalan parliament's presidium. All these crimes are punishable by 48 years in prison.
Dozens of people representing different political forces have gathered in front of the building of the Supreme Court, Sputnik correspondent reported. The members of the Catalan European Democratic Party and the Republican Left of Catalonia party are chanting slogans, demanding the release of the so-called political prisoners. The supporters of a united Spain are also reportedly participating in the rally.
The testimony comes just a day after the Spanish Constitutional Court anulled Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence.
Consequences of Catalonia's Independence Referendum
The Catalan parliament in a secret ballot voted in favor of a motion to declare the region's independence from Spain in a move prompting Madrid to immediately respond by invoking Article 155 of the Constitution, imposing direct rule over the region. The measures also included the sacking of the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, and the dismissal of the region's parliament, with local elections scheduled to take place in December.
While Puigdemon, who later left Catalonia for Brussels, has refused to recognize Madrid's decision and called for peaceful resistance, the Catalan parliament decided to recognize its dissolution.
After the arrest warrant was received by Belgium, a Brussels court's representative said that the court would hear the case on Puigdemont's extradition on November 17.