Jailed Catalan ex-ministers file new appeals for release

Anti-independence supporters shout slogans and wave Spanish and Catalonia flags as they march in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Nov 18, 2017. Catalan separatists claim a mandate for independence from the results of a referendum on secession held Oct. 1 despite a ban by Spain's top court, a boycott by parties against independence and its failure to meet international standards. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

MADRID - The eight jailed members of the ousted Catalan government have filed fresh appeals for release before the National Court.

They argue that there is no risk of them fleeing justice or repeating the alleged offences for which they were jailed Nov. 3.

The court said Tuesday the state prosecutor will study the appeals and report to the judge that jailed the eight on provisional charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement after the Catalan parliament declared the region's independence from Spain.

The judge rejected previous appeals Nov. 11.

Ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four other ex-ministers are fighting extradition from Belgium for the same charges.

Spain reacted to the independence declaration by sacking Puigdemont's government, dissolving parliament and calling regional elections Dec. 21.

Most of the ex-cabinet intend contesting the election.


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