The Supreme Court confirmed on Thursday its competence to judge the cases of Catalan leaders who were involved in their region's failed bid to secede from the rest of Spain but also instructed a high court in Catalonia to take the case against six separatists who were awaiting trial on lesser charges.

The ruling means that 12 secessionist leaders who are currently in pre-trial detention will face trial in Madrid's supreme court on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds while the others will stand trial for lesser transgressions in Barcelona.

"The foreseeable duration of the special case before us, the need for a continued presence of the defendants during the prolonged sessions of the oral phase and, finally, a need to avoid the forced displacement of those who are only going to respond to a crime of disobedience, have led this court to remove its objection to a trial in Barcelona,??" the supreme court said in its ruling.

Among those to be tried in Madrid are former regional ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn, as well as the president of the separatist civil association Catalan National Assembly (ANC) Jordi Sánchez.

Also, separatists Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa, Meritxell Borrás, Carles Mundó and Santiago Vila will join Junqueras and his ministers as defendants on the bench in Madrid.

Those to face trial in Barcelona are ex-committee members of Catalonia's regional parliament Lluis Maria Corominas, Lluis Guino, Anna Isabel Simó, Ramona Barrufet, Joan Josep Nuet and the ex-parliamentary spokeswoman of the left-wing pro-Catalan independence political party CUP (or Popular Unity Candidacy), Mireia Boya, who were only charged with a lesser offense.