Warrant issued for ousted Catalan leader

Saul Bowman
November 3, 2017

The jailing of the former ministers caused an uproar in Catalonia, where pro-independence protesters filled the streets. In the text, the dismissed regional ministers are called "the legitimate government of Catalonia".

The state prosecutor in Madrid later asked the court to issue national and European arrest warrants for Puigdemont and the four other ministers.

"I'm ashamed that they lock up opponents in my country", said Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos, which opposes independence. Ninety percent of voters were in favor of separating from Spain.

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

Earlier, the Supreme Court suspended until next week the questioning of six Catalan legislators under investigation for rebellion following the declaration of independence.

"The defendants have played an active role by propelling the carefully designed secessionist process and overcoming all kinds of obstacles that could make them deviate from their final objective", the judge said in the ruling that sent the defendants to jail. But instead, magistrate Carmen Lamela chose to jail eight of the politicians, only setting bail for Santi Vila, who had opposed last week's unilateral declaration.

Spain's High Court issued a summons for Puigdemont and 13 of his colleagues to appear in the Madrid-based court on Thursday and Friday.

Five senior regional lawmakers and the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, were summoned by the Supreme Court, which handles the cases of people who enjoy parliamentary immunity.

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