Arrest warrant for ex-Catalan leader "normal" if he doesn't testify

by Antonio Miles November 3, 2017, 0:37
Arrest warrant for ex-Catalan leader

A Spanish judge has issued an arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his lawyer has told Belgian state broadcaster VRT.

However, nine other Catalan officials have turned up at the court in Madrid for questioning over the referendum staged in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.

The jailings of the secessionist leaders and Puigdemont's flight to Belgium make it hard for leading figures from the independence movement to stand in a snap election in the wealthy region called by the Spanish government for December 21.

He was scheduled to testify about his role in the region's parliament declaring independence in late October.

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.

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The Prime Minister also stressed out upon the significance of democracy asserting that all political parties must talk about democracy.

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.

"I'm ashamed that they lock up opponents in my country", said Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos, which opposes independence.

The ninth minister was granted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000). The probe could lead to charges of rebellion and sedition.

State Attorney General Jose Manuel Maza has filed those charges against them due to their hypothetical responsibility for the unilateral declaration of independence approved last Friday in the Catalonian Parliament.


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