Spain to seek re­bel­lion charges against Cat­alo­nia se­ces­sion­ists

The Daily Courier - - WORLD - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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