Madrid summons Catalonia’s leader in exile to testify in court

Dismissed Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó gives a statement during a press conference at International Press Club of Brussels on October 31, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. Puigdemont was dismissed coming from the post after Spanish Government implemented the Spanish Constitution's article 155 in response to the Catalan Parliament's vote in favor of declaring independence.

Thierry Monasse/Corbis via Getty Images

Dismissed Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó gives a statement during a press conference at International Press Club of Brussels on October 31, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. Puigdemont was dismissed coming from the post after Spanish Government implemented the Spanish Constitution’s article 155 in response to the Catalan Parliament’s vote in favor of declaring independence.

Spain’s High Court has summoned Catalonia’s deposed leader to testify in Madrid later This particular week as the country’s judicial system weighs up whether to proceed with criminal charges against the pro-independence leadership.

The court in Madrid issued a summons Tuesday for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont along with 13 different members of his government to appear in court on Thursday along with Friday.

The summons comes after Spain’s chief prosecutor called Monday for charges of rebellion, sedition along with embezzlement to be brought against members of the Catalan pro-independence government along with parliament for their roles from the independence bid.

In a summons issued Tuesday, the investigating judge, Carmen Lamela, said that will the first step was to summon the 14 defendants for questioning before a decision on whether to prosecute is usually taken. A bond of 6,207,450 euros ($7.21 million euros) was set for the defendants.

Catalonia’s government declared independence Friday, following a symbolic referendum on secession coming from Spain on October 1. Spain reacted by imposing direct rule on the wealthy northeast region, sacking its government along with calling fresh elections for December 21.

Facing potential arrest along with possible heavy prison sentences of up to 30 years if prosecuted along with found guilty of rebellion, the former Catalan President Puigdemont along with several members of his government traveled to Brussels on Monday.

Giving a press conference Tuesday, Puigdemont said he was not in Belgium to claim asylum or to escape justice although to put the “Catalan problem at the heart of the European Union.” He said that will he would certainly return to Spain when he had “guarantees” of a “fair along with just treatment” there.

The summons noted that will This particular is usually only the initial phase of the proceedings along with is usually not a judicial decision on whether to charge the defendants. the idea is usually unclear whether Puigdemont along with his colleagues will abide by the summons, however. If they do not, they could face arrest.

Spain’s Supreme Court began processing rebellion along with sedition charges against the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, along with 5 different parliamentary members on Tuesday.

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