Spain to seek rebellion charges against Catalonia secessionists
BARCELONA, Spain — Spain’s state prosecutor said Monday that he would seek charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against members of Catalonia’s ousted secessionist government, pushing the crisis over the region’s independence declaration into an uncertain new phase.
Chief prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza said he would ask judges for preventive measures against the politicians and the governing body of the Catalan parliament that allowed a vote to declare independence last week. He didn’t specify if those would include their immediate arrest and detention before trial.
The rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges carry maximum sentences of 30, 15 and six years in prison, respectively. It wasn’t immediately clear when judges would rule on the prosecutors’ request.
Maza didn’t name any of those facing charges, but they include regional leader Carles Puigdemont, his No. 2 Oriol Junqueras and Catalan parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell.
The announcement came as Catalonia’s civil servants returned to work for the first time since Spain dismissed the separatist regional government and imposed direct control.
Puigdemont travelled to Brussels, according to a Spanish government official who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to be named in media reports. The trip came after Belgian Asylum State Secretary Theo Francken said over the weekend that it would be “not unrealistic” for Puigdemont to request asylum.