MADRID’S High Court has claimed the heads of two of the largest separatist organisations in a move to impose central governance over Catalunya. 

Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart arrived in court on Monday but were denied bail pending an investigation into alleged sedition.

The pair are leaders of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and independence group Omnium, respectively.

Prosecutors say that the ANC’s Jordi Sanchez and Omnium’s Jordi Cuixart played central roles in orchestrating pro-independence protests last month.

As well as detaining the leaders the court seized Catalan police chief, Josep Lluís Trapero’s passport under the same charge but have not ordered his arrest.

Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont commented on Twitter: “Spain jails Catalonia’s civil society leaders for organizing peaceful demonstrations. Sadly, we have political prisoners again.”

The move is a sign that Madrid is getting closer to triggering article 155 of the constitution, which means it can break Cataluyna’s autonomy and impose direct rule.

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