Catalan separatists march to proclaim innocence of leaders

Thousands of Catalan separatists are marching in Barcelona to proclaim the innocence of 12 of their leaders who are on trial for their role in a failed 2017 secession bid.

The front line of marchers on Saturday held a long banner saying in Catalan "self-determination is not a crime." It was followed by many people carrying pro-independence flags.

The trial of the 12 high-profile separatists started this week in Spain's Supreme Court in Madrid. They are facing charges for having ignored a court ban on holding a secession referendum and for issuing a declaration of independence that received no international recognition in October 2017.

Separatists claim that Catalonia has a right to self-determination. Spain's government says any vote on independence would require the national Parliament to amend the Constitution.