Catalan lawmaker freed from jail after posting bail

MADRID (AP) — A top Catalan lawmaker on Friday left a Madrid prison where she spent the night after posting the bail a Spanish judge imposed as part of a wide-ranging rebellion investigation stemming from Catalonia’s declaration of independence.

Spain’s Supreme Court said the judge who jailed and set bail Thursday for Catalonia Parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, freed her after the $175,000 bond was registered.

As conditions of Forcadell’s release, the judge withdrew her passport and ordered her to stay in Spain, to check in at a court in Catalonia each week and to return before the Supreme Court if summoned.

The lawmaker left the prison in a car without speaking to reporters.

“We’re going back home,” she tweeted later. “With an easy conscience for having acted correctly: to guarantee freedom of expression in (the Catalan) Parliament, headquarters of the national sovereignty.”

Forcadell and five other Catalan lawmakers are being investigated for the actions that led to the regional Parliament’s Oct. 27 vote to declare independence from Spain.

After questioning the lawmakers, magistrate Pablo Llarena jailed only Forcadell immediately. He ordered four to pay $29,000 bail in one week to remain out of custody and released another who opposed the declaration of Catalonia as a separate republic.

Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said the lawmakers’ commitment to the judge indicated that a “return of constitutional order (in Catalonia) is starting to become a reality.”

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