Catalonia crisis: Sacked ministers held by Madrid court
Catalonia crisis: Sacked ministers held by Madrid court
Jailing of Catalan politicians could lead to backlash
03 November, 2017, 01:05
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked Puigdemont and his government on Friday, hours after the Catalan parliament made a unilateral declaration of independence - a vote boycotted by the opposition and declared illegal by Spanish courts.
Mr Puigdemont's handling of the crisis has drawn criticism among some other Catalan politicians, with left-wing parliamentary deputy Joan Josep Nuet criticising him for creating "yet more bewilderment".
According to Spain's chief prosecutor, the Catalan leaders were accused of rebellion - which carries a maximum 30-year jail term - as well as sedition and misuse of funds.
Van den Andreu, the lawyer defending other ex-members of the regional government, said whether his clients were jailed "was already predetermined" before they appeared in court.
An arrest warrant would make it virtually impossible for Mr Puigdemont to stand in a snap election, called for 21 December, after the Catalonian government was dissolved by Spain in light of the vote for independence.
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The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up.
All of them refused to respond to questioning with the exception of former minister Villa, who spoke for about 40 minutes.
A Spanish judge has jailed eight ousted Catalan ministers, after the region attempted to declare independence.
The judiciary and the Spanish government have insisted that the legal action taken against the leaders of the independence movement is technically sound and that the country's separation of powers is robust.
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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