Spain calls for Catalonia rebellion case

José Manuel Maza

José Manuel Maza

Spain’s chief prosecutor has called for charges including rebellion to be laid against Catalan leaders following the region’s declaration of independence.
José Manuel Maza said the charges should also include sedition and provocation by regional officials.
It comes as Spain acts to take direct control of Catalonia, replacing senior officials.
Meanwhile, former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is reported to be in the Belgian capital, Brussels.

Mr Puigdemont is with other dismissed Catalan ministers and will meet Flemish politicians, Spanish media report.
He was removed from office on Friday after the regional parliament declared independence.
Speaking at a press conference earlier, Mr Maza, the attorney-general, also called for Catalonia’s leaders to be charged with misuse of funds for holding an independence referendum in early October despite the vote being declared illegal by the constitutional court.
The charge of rebellion carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Under the Spanish legal system, the request will be considered by a judge.
There appeared to be no major disruption in Catalan government offices on Monday morning, despite some officials defying instructions from Madrid not to turn up for work.
Any ministers who arrived at their offices were given hours to leave under threat of “action” by Catalonia’s regional police force, Mossos.
Madrid’s temporary move to impose direct control by invoking Article 155 of the constitution – a first for Spain – will see as many as 150 of the region’s top officials replaced.
Mr Puigdemont and his vice-president Oriol Junqueras reject the central’s government’s moves, arguing that they can only be removed from office by the citizens of Catalonia.
Madrid has urged the Spanish constitutional court to revoke Catalonia’s unilateral vote for independence and has called for fresh regional elections on 21 December.
A spokeswoman for Mr Puigdemont’s PDeCAT party said it would field candidates “with conviction”.
Mr Puigdemont could run in new elections, according to Spain’s Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis, but only if the sacked Catalan leader has not been jailed. -BBC

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