Catalan president Quim Torra is appearing in a criminal court this morning as part of an investigation into possible civil disobedience over his refusal to remove pro-independence flags and yellow ribbons in solidarity with the jailed political leaders from public buildings during the Spanish election campaign.

The head of the Catalan government vowed to accuse the Spanish state of”authoritarian drift” after its electoral authority ruled that symbols of support for the imprisoned and exiled leaders of the independence movement was a breach of election impartiality regulations.

In a statement on social media before arriving at the High Court in Barcelona, Torra said he was committed to defending freedom of expression “whatever the consequences”.