The Latest: Hearing over ex-Catalan VP's jailing begins

The Latest on developments in the restive Spanish region of Catalonia (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

A hearing in Madrid to review the provisional jailing of a pro-independence Catalan politician, who hopes to be part of the restive region's next government, has commenced.

A police van arrived in Spain's Supreme Court, minutes before court officials confirmed that a panel of three judges began hearing in private the appeal of Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras.

Outside, around 20 supporters gathered at the gates of the court calling for his release.

Gabriel Rufian, a national lawmaker with Junqueras' left-republican ERC party said he feared the former Catalan vice president will remain in jail.

Junqueras, who faces potential charges over possible rebellion, sedition and embezzlement, is seeking to gain his freedom to take his seat in the regional parliament following early elections last month.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the Dec. 21 election but pro-independence parties won most seats.


10 a.m.

A Spanish court is reviewing an appeal by former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras against his jailing as he awaits formal charges over possible rebellion, sedition and embezzlement in the restive region's recent drive for independence from Spain.

A panel of three Supreme Court judges will decide Thursday on whether to keep Junqueras in custody or grant bail, which would ease the way for him to take his oath as a regional lawmaker and possibly become the new Catalan leader.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy deposed Catalonia's government after separatist legislators passed a declaration of independence from Spain in late October.

Pro-secession parties, including a ticket led by the fugitive ousted president Carles Puigdemont and the left-republican party led by Junqueras, won back most seats in fresh elections last month.