JAILED Catalan independence leader Jordi Sanchez has revealed that despite being sentenced to nine years in prison, he would repeat all that he did in autumn 2017 – except climb on top of a police car.

He and Jordi Cuixart – who lead two pro-indy grassroots groups – were outside Catalan government offices in Barcelona on September 20 that year, when tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered to protest at Civil Guard raids to find evidence of plans to hold a referendum the following month.

Both were appealing to the crowd to disperse, but Sanchez said he was aware prosecutors would use his words against him.

READ MORE: Catalonia: Scots urged to write to FM over sedition convictions

He said: “Yes, I would do the same thing again but not get on the vehicle again because it was used against myself and Cuixart. That was a trap. Of the rest, I would do everything again.”

His remarks came as he used part of his 72-hour period of leave from jail – allowed because he and other indy leaders are medium-category inmates – to take part in a TV3 programme, Frequently Asked Questions. He told the programme the Catalan Parliament’s declaration of independence the following month had only come about because of differences between the parties Together for Catalonia (JxCat) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC).

READ MORE: Catalan prisoners to return to parliament for 'direct rule' inquiry

“With unilaterality we arrive at decisions of the dissociation of independence and of the tactics of some,” he said.

“We get there despite not all the actors at the table wanting that decision ... when some of those at the table and those in the government argued that the declaration of independence (UDI) was needed … some, when defending UDI, were waiting for [President Carles] Puigdemont to call elections.”

Asked to whom he was referring, Sanchez replied: “ERC. I say it bluntly.”

He said that he and Cuixart saw the republic proclaimed from behind bars, but it had no future because: “Unilaterality has to unfold when you can deploy it with strength. Dialogue with many sectors had failed, elections were an option.”

Sanchez has said he has become accustomed to jail, but has not given up.

“You have to adapt to it,” he said, adding that prison had made him more tolerant of himself and others, and made him understand how fortunate he had been in life.

He said he and Cuixart had received more that 64,000 letters of support during what was a “test of resistance”.

Before they were jailed, he said the two civic leaders had talked about going into exile, as had the former president and several ministers, but did not because he had no institutional responsibility. He added: “Exile is a prison with invisible bars.”