Catalan leaders due before Madrid court on rebellion charge

Kristopher Drake
November 3, 2017

Puigdemont is in Brussels, where on Tuesday he denounced the politicization of Spanish justice and accused the central government of Mariano Rajoy of resorting to force to suffocate the Catalonians' secessionist aspirations.

The ousted leader reacted to the events at Spain's National Court in Madrid as thousands of protesters took to the streets to protest at the jailings.

An arrest warrant would make it virtually impossible for Mr Puigdemont to stand in a snap election, called for 21 December, after the Catalonian government was dissolved by Spain in light of the vote for independence.

The struggle has divided Catalonia itself and caused deep resentment across the rest of Spain.

The six had been summoned to court for questioning by a judge.

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up.

She said the defendants, who could face jail sentences of up to 50 years, must be held in custody because they were a flight risk and could destroy evidence.

The summons, issued Wednesday, came after Spain's chief prosecutor called for charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement to be brought against Puigdemont and other members of the Catalan government and parliament for their roles in a pro-independence movement and declaration of independence.

Former ministers in the deposed Catalan government arrive at court.

Under Spain's legal system, investigating judges can order the detention of suspects while a comprehensive probe, sometimes taking months, determines if charges should be brought.

The Supreme Court adjourned hearings into former members of the Catalan parliament until 9 November to give them time to prepare a defence.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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