Spain pursues rebellion charges against Catalan leaders
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 10/30/17, 10:40 am
Spain’s state prosecutor on Monday said he will pursue charges of rebellion, sedition, and embezzlement against the deposed Catalan leaders over their role in declaring independence in the autonomous region Friday. The charges could send the politicians to prison for up to 30 years. Chief Prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza said he would ask the judges for “preventive” measures against the officials. On Saturday, Catalan’s ousted president, Carles Puigdemont, urged independence supporters to peacefully resist the Spanish takeover. The next day, the Spanish government said Puigdemont could be sent to prison within the next two months. Spain seized control of Catalonia hours after the region’s Parliament unilaterally declared independence Friday. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked the government and called for regional elections on Dec. 21. Authorities on Monday gave Catalan leaders “a few hours” to clear their belongings from official buildings and said they could face criminal charges if they attempt to perform any official duties. The Spanish Home Office on Monday confirmed Puidgemont left for Brussels, Belgium. Earlier on Sunday, Belgian migration minister Theo Francken told local broadcaster VTM “it’s not unrealistic” for the country to grant political asylum to Puidgemont, since Spain already mentioned a possible prison sentence.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.