Catalan separatists in court arguing for their release

Two recently-elected lawmakers in the restive Spanish region of Catalonia and another separatist activist are making their case against their jailing for involvement in the region's push for independence.

National Catalan Assembly civic group member Jordi Sanchez and former Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn, who were elected on separatist party tickets in Catalonia's Dec. 21 elections, are appearing Thursday before Supreme Court Judge Pablo LLarena. Also appearing is activist Jordi Cuixart.

Forn was one of several regional ministers jailed on provisional charges of rebellion after the Catalan parliament declared independence Oct. 27. That prompted the Spanish government in Madrid to dissolve the regional parliament and call fresh elections.

Sanchez and Cuixart were jailed previously on provisional sedition charges related to preparations for the illegal Oct. 1 independence referendum.