Catalan Leaders in Crosshairs After Independence Push

Spain is looking to bring Carles Puigdemont, others up on rebellion, sedition, embezzlement charges
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 30, 2017 8:35 AM CDT
Spain to Bring Catalan Leaders Up on Rebellion Charges
TV crews stand in front of the Palau de la Generalitat as they wait for the arrival of Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Spain's state prosecutor says it's seeking charges of rebellion, sedition, and embezzlement for members of the ousted Catalan Cabinet and the governing body of the regional parliament that allowed a vote to declare independence last week. The crimes can be punished, respectively, with up to 30, 15, and six years in prison under Spanish law, per the AP. The country's chief prosecutor, Jose Manuel Maza, said he'd ask the judges for preventive measures against the officials, but he didn't specify if those would include their immediate arrest and going to jail while awaiting trial. He said one lawsuit seeks charges for ousted Catalan officials in the country's National Court. That includes regional leader Carles Puigdemont and his No. 2 official, Oriol Junqueras, although Maza didn't name them.

Maza said a second suit concerning members of the governing body of Catalonia's parliament, including Speaker Carme Forcadell, was filed in the country's Supreme Court. Some elected officials in Spain, including regional lawmakers, enjoy a degree of immunity before courts and can only be tried in the highest court. Catalan separatist politicians are holding meetings in Barcelona, with their eyes set on a regional election in less than two months called by Spain's central government to try to end a push for independence. Meanwhile, Spanish financial markets are rising after a poll suggested support for independence in the region of Catalonia is waning. The IBEX 35 stock index was up 1.4% in Madrid on Monday, about as much as it had fallen on Friday, and Spanish government bonds were also higher.

(More Catalonia stories.)

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