Thursday, 2 November 2017

Spain's prosecutors ask for eight leaders of Catalonia's regional government to be jailed



Prosecutors in Madrid have asked for eight sacked members of Catalonia's regional government to be jailed over their role in October's disputed independence referendum.

 
Nine Catalan officials testified at Spain's high court over accusations of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.


Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four others disregarded a summons.


His lawyer said the climate was "not good" for him to appear in court.


Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since the referendum was held on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.


This came after Catalan lawmakers voted to declare independence of the affluent north-eastern region.


The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part in the referendum, 90% were in favour of independence.


Prosecutors asked the high court judge to jail eight of the nine sacked members who turned up for questioning. They included Deputy Vice President, Oriol Junqueras; Interior Minister, Joaquim Forn; Foreign Affairs Minister, Raül Romeva; and Justice Minister Carles Mundó.


The ninth, Catalonia's former Business Minister Santi Vila, should be granted a €50,000 ($58,000; £44,000) bail, prosecutors said. He resigned before the Catalan parliament voted for independence on Friday.


The Catalan leaders are yet to be formally charged. They were accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30-year jail term - as well as sedition and misuse of funds.




BBC     News.