Top Cata­lan law­maker jailed

Weekend Herald - - World - Carme For­cadell

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

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