A FORMER Catalan MP has been sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to answer questions from a far-right party in Spain during the 2019 trial against Catalonia's independence leaders.

A Madrid court convicted Antonio Banos for disobedience committed on January 27, 2019 for not answering the questions put to him by a lawyer representing the Spanish party Vox.

Banos, who was previously the former deputy leader of pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), did not testify during the trial after being told he must speak in Spanish.

The politician had begun speaking in Catalan but was immediately told by a judge that because it is not an official language in Madrid he must speak Spanish.

The sentence comes just a week after CUP deputy Eulalia Reguant was found guilty of the same crime. Despite this, Regaunt was spared jailed time, being ordered to pay a €13,000 fine instead.

READ MORE: ‘How could this happen in a democracy?’: Lessons to learn from Catalan referendum

Banos will also be disqualified from public office but can appeal the decision by the Spanish courts.

Former president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont hit out at the ruling, tweeting: “Spanish 'justice' sentences a pro-independence former MP @antoniobanos_ to 4 months in jail because he refused to answer questions from the far right party V0X during the trial against Catalan independence leaders.”

Current CUP deputy Reguant also criticised the Spanish judges, tweeting: “The 'nonsense' of justice: @antoniobanos_ and I were prosecuted for the same crime.

"Two different courts decide different sentences.

"The conclusion is the same: not responding to fascism can never be considered a crime. With you, Antonio!”

In 2019, Spain’s Supreme Court convicted 12 former Catalan politicians and activists for their roles in a secession bid in 2017.

The court sentenced former Catalan regional vice president Oriol Junqueras to 13 years for sedition and misuse of public funds.

READ MORE: ‘Act or resign’: Catalans hold rally amid backdrop of tension between pro-independence parties

Eight received lengthy prison terms in Catalonia’s attempt to break away from Spain following an independence referendum that Spain called illegal, while three received lesser sentences.

Regional parliament speaker Carme Forcadell was given 11-and-a-half years in prison; former cabinet members Joaquim Forn and Josep Rull 10-and-a-half years each; and grassroots pro-independence activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart nine years.

Junqueras and three other former cabinet members – Raul Romeva, Jordi Turull and Dolors Bassa, who were sentenced to 12 years – were also convicted for misuse of public funds.

Large-scale protests broke out following the decision, with police using foam bullets and used batons against thousands of protesters.