Arrest warrant for ex-Catalan leader "normal" if he doesn't testify

Laura Christensen
November 3, 2017

Spain's High Court is likely to issue a warrant for the arrest of the former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont after the pro-independence leader failed to appear at a court hearing on Thursday.

Because Puigdemont didn't show up for questioning, the court might issue a European warrant for his arrest.

Puigdemont's lawyer Paul Bekaert told Reuters that his client would not travel to Spain where the political climate was "not good", but would cooperate with Spanish and Belgian justice.

A Spanish judge has jailed eight ousted Catalan ministers, after the region attempted to declare independence.

Those 13 other officials were also scheduled to appear in court Thursday - nine did.

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The ninth minister was granted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000).

Puigdemont and four others fled to Belguim after the three day ultimatum to pay a deposit of €6.2m ($7.2m) to cover potential liabilities which was stated in the court summons, expired.

A spokesperson for Puigdemont said he would remain in Brussels with the other four ministers.

State Attorney General Jose Manuel Maza has filed those charges against them due to their hypothetical responsibility for the unilateral declaration of independence approved last Friday in the Catalonian Parliament.

The jailings of the secessionist leaders and Puigdemont's flight to Belgium make it hard for leading figures from the independence movement to stand in a snap election in the wealthy region called by the Spanish government for December 21.

Other reports by My Hot News

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