An Italian judge in Sardinia has released the former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont without conditions after he was detained a day earlier.
The judge's decision means Puigdemont is free to leave the country.
Initial reports suggested he would have to remain in Sardinia until a court ruling on his extradition was made.
The next court date was set for October 4, when the court will consider how to proceed with the European arrest warrant issued by Spain.
In the initial hearing on Friday, judge Plinia Azzena ruled that Puigdemont's arrest at Alghero airport the previous evening was legal.
"What is obvious is that Carles Puigdemont must submit to (the action of) justice," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.
Sanchez said dialogue was the best way to seek reconciliation, a week after he relaunched talks with Catalonia's separatist government aimed at fostering reconciliation with the northeastern region.
Catalonia's regional leader, Pere Aragones, said the arrest complicated that dialogue.
"Yesterday's events clearly show that the Spanish state has not acted in good faith with European justice and do not help to resolve the conflict," he told reporters.
Police cordoned off a major avenue in the Catalan capital Barcelona after a few hundred protesters gathered in front of the Italian consulate, waving Catalan separatist flags and chanting "Puigdemont is our president" and "Free Puigdemont".
Puigdemont, 58, has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since late 2017 after Spain accused him of helping to organise the independence referendum.
He has served as a member of the European Union parliament since 2019 but was detained by Italian border police at Alghero airport as he arrived in Sardinia from Brussels to attend a cultural event.
The EU parliament stripped him of immunity in March.
Australian Associated Press