Published: Thu, November 02, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Ousted Catalan Leader in Brussels as Spanish Prosecutors Seek Charges

Ousted Catalan Leader in Brussels as Spanish Prosecutors Seek Charges

The government in Madrid rejected the secession push, and after Catalan lawmakers declared independence last week the central government asserted control over the region and dissolved the local parliament.

There's speculation he could be seeking asylum in Belgium, to avoid sedition and rebellion charges in Spain.

If Puigdemont or any of the other politicians fail to appear a European arrest warrant can be issued.

A snap election - which could see as many as 150 of the region's top officials replaced - has also been called for 21 December.

Puigdemont is now in Belgium with some of his government members and hired a lawyer for his case.

Catalonia's sacked president has gone to Belgium but insists he isn't there to seek political asylum.

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Spain's High Court on Tuesday called former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and 13 members of his sacked administration to testify on Thursday at 9 a.m. The judge would then determine whether those who have been summoned should go to jail pending an investigation, which may take up to several years before it is resolved.

Journalists wait outside the offices of sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer, Paul Bekaert, in Tielt in Belgium November 1, 2017.

In the meantime, Spanish prosecutors requested that the court demand $US7.2 million from each of the accused for "potential liabilities". Should the leaders not respond to this, they can indeed be jailed pending trial and considered a flight risk.

Three former advisers for the Catalan government have already returned to Spain on Tuesday, but they were greeted by chants "off to prison" for their involvement with the ousted Catalan government.

He told a packed news conference he would return home "immediately" if given guarantees that Spain's justice system would treat him fairly.

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