Top Catalan lawmaker jailed
A Spanish judge jailed Catalonia’s top lawmaker yesterday in a rebellion probe stemming from an independence declaration, but set Carme Forcadell’s bail at €150,000 ($251,800) and ordered her passport to be confiscated as the investigation continues.
Forcadell is Speaker of the regional Parliament whose separatist lawmakers passed a declaration to proclaim Catalonia as a new republic. She was sent to a jail near Madrid yesterday, but was expected to get out after making bail.
Spain’s Constitutional Court warned that the October 27 vote in the Catalan Parliament would be illegal and most Opposition lawmakers boycotted the session.
The Spanish Government immediately seized control of the wealthy northeastern region, the first time in the four decades since General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship ended that Madrid removed powers from any of the country’s 17 regions.
Central authorities also dismissed Catalonia’s regional President and his Government, who are now also jailed on preliminary rebellion charges or fighting extradition.
Spain also dissolved the Parliament and called a new regional election for December 21. Prosecutors are pursuing charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against 20 regional representatives in all. The crimes are punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment.
Catalonia’s deposed President, Carles Puigdemont, and four of his former Cabinet members fled to Brussels, where they are fighting Spanish arrest and extradition orders. AP