Spain's chief prosecutor calls for arrest of Catalan leader Puigdemont

Marie Harrington
November 3, 2017

According to Spain's chief prosecutor, the Catalan leaders were accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30-year jail term - as well as sedition and misuse of funds.

The high court, known as the the Audiencia Nacional, had ordered Puigdemont and the 13 other ministers to appear.

After his no show in court, the president of the Spanish Supreme Court said it would be "normal" to issue a European arrest warrant.

A Spanish judge has jailed eight ousted Catalan ministers, after the region attempted to declare independence.

Cracks have appeared within the pro-independence coalition of centre-right and far-left parties as well as inside Puigdemont's own PdeCat (Democratic Catalan Party) where some of his allies are now pushing for a negotiated solution with the central government.

Instead, Puigdemont and four of his colleagues traveled to Brussels in Belgium and hired a lawyer.

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Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since a referendum on independence from Spain was held in Catalonia on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.

Reports say the Catalan leaders standing trial in Madrid have been denied bail and there are growing fears that it may trigger fresh uprising among those clamouring for the Catalonia break away.

"The legitimate government of Catalonia has been sent to jail for its ideas and for having been faithful to the mandate approved by the parliament of Catalonia", he said.

This led to the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy dissolving the regional parliament and calling a snap election for December.

A spokesperson for Puigdemont said he would remain in Brussels with the other four ministers.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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