Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Catalan leaders due before Madrid court on rebellion charge

A Spanish government source says Puigdemont is now in Brussels Catalan leaders due before Madrid court on rebellion charge
Lillian Steele | 03 November, 2017, 01:06

"It is better to take some distance", Paul Bekaert told Reuters, adding that "the climate is not good".

Mr Puigdemont reacted on Twitter to the jailing of nine members of his former Cabinet, posting that "the legitimate government of Catalonia has been jailed for its ideas". Protests taking place in central Barcelona on Thursday to support secessionist leaders as they testified in Madrid failed to attract a big crowd.

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.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, meanwhile, is in Brussels with ministers Meritxell Serret, Toni Comin, Clara Ponsati and Lluis Puig.

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

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

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

Both lawyers said they would appeal the judge's order.

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.

This led to the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy dissolving the regional parliament and calling a snap election for December. On the same day, Spain's state prosecutor announced he was seeking charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds against the deposed president and the 13 ex-ministers.

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

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