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Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and other regional government members. | Photo: Reuters

Spain jails 8 Catalan officials, issues arrest warrant for Puigdemont

Spain's State Prosecutor has also requested a European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont who is in Brussels.

Originally published: teleSUR by teleSUR / jc-RT-rg (November 2, 2017)

A Spanish high court judge has ordered eight Catalan ministers, who appeared in a Madrid court, to be jailed on charges related to the Catalan Parliament declaration of independence on Oct. 27.

Those arrested include Oriol Junqueras (Deputy Vice President), Joaquim Forn (Interior Minister), Raul Romeva (Foreign Affairs Minister) and Carles Mundo (Justice Minister), according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, Spain’s State Prosecutor has requested a European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four other former government officials who traveled to Brussels to seek legal council following Catalonia’s independence declaration. The official request was made directly to Belgium’s high court judge and included charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds. Belgium’s federal prosecutor has stated that the law will be adhered to as soon as the arrest warrant is received, according to EFE.

The four other former officials listed in the arrest warrant include Meritxell Serret, Antoni Comin, Lluis Puig, and Clara Ponsati. Puigdemont said that Spain is now bent on “vengeance” and he’ll only return if he and his colleagues are guaranteed a fair trial. Lawyers representing Puigdemont say the former Catalan president will testify via video stream from Brussels.

Junqueras arrived in Madrid to appear in court to testify on charges related to the region’s bid for independence. The first of 20 regional leaders scheduled to make their court appearance on Thursday, Junqueras entered the courtroom accompanied by lawyers and declined to answer press questions.

On Oct 27, the Spanish government filed a complaint against the Catalonia government for “very serious” crimes related to the region’s independence referendum and the subsequent declaration of independence, according to RT. Though a majority of Catalans voted in favor of independence, Spain’s Constitutional Court overruled the decision and Catalan officials were ordered to appear in court.

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