Spanish Court may issue arrest warrant for exiled Catalan leader

Supreme Court has adjourned hearings until 9 November

A day after jailing nine former members of the region’s separatist government over their role in the region’s declaration of independence, a Spanish judge is now considering whether to issue an international arrest warrant for Catalonia’s ousted leader.

Spain’s state prosecutor had requested a European arrest warrant for the region’s ousted leader, Carles Puigdemont, and four others over their role in a disputed independence referendum. All five had failed to show up at Spain’s high court despite facing accusations of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

Read related story: Sacked Catalan leader Puigdemont ‘not seeking asylum’ in Brussels

Lawyers for the nine detained former ministers have stated that are planning to appeal the move and said they wanted the people of Catalonia to stay calm.

The Supreme Court has reportedly adjourned hearings until 9 November to give them time to prepare a defence.

In a press conference yesterday, Puigdemont said he and his colleagues would remain in Brussels “not to evade justice but to demand it”, criticising the court’s planned “disproportionate penalties equivalent to murder or terrorism”. He also accused the Spanish government of seeking “vengeance” against him.

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