A SPANISH judge has jailed eight sacked members of the Catalan cabinet, including Vice Prfesident Oriol Junqueras and set bail for one other.

Spain's state prosecutor has also requested a European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is in Belgium, and four other ex-ministers who did not show up.

The prosecutor made the petition to investigative magistrate Carmen Lamela on Thursday after Puigdemont failed to appear in the Madrid court for questioning.

It was part of a rebellion probe following the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence from Spain October 27.

Puigdemont and several of his ministers went to Brussels after the independence declaration and said they would not heed the summons.

The National Court has been questioning ousted Catalan government members but a parallel Supreme Court session for six Catalan politicians was postponed for a week.

Twenty regional politicians, including fired regional government president Puigdemont, were called to appear.

It came after the chief prosecutor demanded they be charged with rebellion, sedition and embezzlement following the Catalan parliament's declaration of secession October 27.

The crimes are punishable by up to 30 years in prison under Spanish law.

The group summoned includes Puigdemont's 13-member former Cabinet and six parliamentary board members.

But Puigdemont remained in Brussels along with four of his former ministers.

Junqueras, was the first to arrive at the National Court.

The National Court procedures began with the appearance of former Catalan regional government spokesman Jordi Turull, followed by Josep Rull, who had handled the region's territorial affairs.

But a corresponding session in the Supreme Court for six regional parliament members was suspended until November 9 following a request by their lawyers for more time to prepare their defence.

That group includes Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, one of the leading figures of the pro-independence movement in Catalonia for many years.

Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena granted the lawyers' request, and ordered the politicians to ensure they are reachable by the police on mobile phones until the hearing next week.

All six left the Supreme Court building in Madrid. Forcadell emerged first followed by the others, who were welcomed by supporters clapping and chanting "Freedom, freedom".

Spain took the unprecedented step of triggering constitutional powers allowing it to take over the running of Catalonia following the region's declaration of independence.

Madrid has sacked the regional Cabinet, dissolved the regional parliament and called a new regional election for December 21.

Puigdemont said he and several of his former ministers went to Brussels earlier this week for "freedom and safety".

Javier Melero, lawyer for some of those investigated in the Supreme Court, criticised Puigdemont and other officials' decision to avoid the questioning.

He said the move will be damaging for his clients, the three politicians who are also members of Puigdemont's PDeCAT party.

"Not being at the service of the judiciary when you are summoned is always damaging for the rest of those being investigated," he said.

About two dozen politicians and elected officials from Catalan pro-independence parties gathered at the gates of the Supreme Court.

"If the question is if in Spain you can trust the judicial system, my answer is no," said Artur Mas, a former president of the Catalan government.

"From the personal point of view and also for my personal experience, I don't think that there are all the guarantees to have a fair trial."

Earlier this year, Mas was banned by a Barcelona court from holding public office for two years after he ignored a Constitutional Court ruling and went ahead with a mock vote on Catalonia's independence in 2014.

Assumpcio Lailla, a former official with Catalonia's Democrats party, said she had travelled to Madrid joining around 100 other politicians and elected officials to show support to those investigated.

"This is an unjust situation in which they are being investigated for facilitating democracy," she said. "I don't understand how Europe can look away from democracy."

The supporters greeted some of the politicians who appeared at the Supreme Court cheering and shouting: "Freedom, Freedom" and "we are not afraid."

Across the street, half a dozen protesters with Spanish flags were stopped by police. They shouted at the Catalan politicians, "cowards" and "to jail, to jail".

In Barcelona, the Catalan regional capital, thousands of people rallied outside the regional presidential palace in Sant Jaume Square at noon to show their support, clapping and chanting slogans in favour of independence.