lakeelmoleader.com
lakeelmoleader.com November 22, 2017


Catalonia crisis: Sacked ministers held by Madrid court

03 November 2017, 01:08 | Kara Nash

Catalan leaders due before Madrid court on rebellion charge

Carles Puigdemont

Puigdemont's no-show was the latest act of defiance from the renegade leader, who has caused consternation in Madrid following the referendum and the Catalan parliament's declaration of unilateral independence weeks later.

Dastis said he believes Puigdemont will not seek political asylum in Belgium.

Mr Puigdemont's lawyer in Belgium said his client would stay away from Spain while the political climate was "not good"; but he would cooperate with the courts.

Puigdemont "will not go to Madrid" on Thursday because "he will not have a fair trial" in Spain, Bekaert pointed out in statements quoted by the Belgian TV station NOS and reproduced by media.

It appears likely that a European arrest warrant is now likely to be made by a High Court judge.

Before appearing in court today (November 2), the prosecution had requested that eight of the former regional government ministers were jailed.

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If Mr Puigdemont fails to appear before the court, an arrest warrant could be issued that would in turn prevent him from standing in the snap regional election called by the Spanish government for 21 December.

According to AFP, the charges of which the lawmakers have been accused by prosecutors of, that is, sedition and rebellion over the region's independence drive, carry sentences of up to 15 and 30 years in jail respectively.

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.

First the Catalan parliament, then the Spanish government, now the judiciary.

The courts have already told the Catalan secessionist leaders to deposit 6.2 million euros ($7.2 million) by Friday to cover potential liabilities.



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