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Spain issue arrest warrant for sacked Catalan leader Charles Puigdemont

05 November, 2017, 02:21 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Supporters of Catalonian independence

The judge issued the European arrest warrants late Friday for Puigdemont and four of his allies who are also in Belgium, to force them to return to Spain.

Puigdemont's rallying cry came a day after a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant against him, with prosecutors seeking to charge him with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over his secessionist drive.

The judge rejected a request from Puigdemont to testify via video conference from Belgium.

The prosecutor has asked the National Court judge to issue an global arrest warrant against them.

"We will study it, and put it in the hands of an investigating judge", prosecutors' spokesman Eric Van Der Sijpt told The Associated Press.

A tweet sent in Dutch from the account of former Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont on Saturday read: "We are prepared to fully cooperate with Belgian justice following the European arrest warrant issued by Spain".

A Spanish judge on Friday issued an European Union arrest warrant against the deposed president of Catalonia - a region of 7.5 million that remains deeply divided over the issue of independence. "There must be a continuity to tell the world what's going on in Spain".

Instead, he discussed strategy for the December snap election Spain's government has called as part of its temporary takeover of Catalonia.

Another six Catalan leaders are due to testify on November 9 on the same charges.

The lawyers argued yesterday that Jordi Sanchez, who leads Assemblea Nacional Catalana, and Jordi Cuixart, who heads Omnium Cultural, should be released because the political situation in Catalonia has changed since the probe began last month. The other eight could remain in custody for up to four years.

The frustrated unilateral independence declaration of Catalonia has already damaged tourism and deterred investment. While he remains a supporter of an secession he has advocated a negotiated solution with the central government.

Also on Thursday, thousands of people across Catalonia took to the streets to protest against the detention of the Catalan leaders. He is believed to be in Belgium, where he and some aides fled after the Spanish government removed them from office a week ago.

"We could offer a new dialogue so that we can fulfil Catalans' aspirations for more autonomy and look into reforming the constitution", Foreign Affairs Minister Alfonso Dastis told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview.


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