Catalan parliament defies Spain again with vote on leader

MADRID (AP) — Catalonia's parliament has passed a symbolic motion affirming the right of the Spanish region's former separatist leader Carles Puigdemont to be re-elected to his old job, even though he is in jail and facing a possible trial.

Pro-independence parties used their slim majority to approve the motion Wednesday and continue their defiance of the Spanish government, which says the wealthy northeastern region cannot secede.

Puigdemont fled Spain to avoid arrest five months ago after the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence. Spanish authorities ousted Puigdemont and imposed direct rule on the restive region.

The Spanish Supreme Court has charged the 55-year-old separatist leader with rebellion. He was detained in Germany on Sunday on a European arrest warrant. German authorities are due to decide on his extradition.