‘Spain likely to seek arrest of ousted Catalan leader’
- Spanish courts are likely to issue a European arrest warrant for former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont after he failed to appear at a Spanish court hearing on Thursday, Spain's top judge said.
Puigdemont's lawyer in Belgium, where he has travelled with four members of his sacked Cabinet, said the climate in Spain was "not good" and his client wanted to take "some distance"; but he would cooperate with the courts.
"If they ask, he will cooperate with Spanish and Belgian justice," lawyer Paul Bekaert told
Reuters. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked Puigdemont and his government last Friday, hours after the Catalan Parliament made a unilateral declaration of independence - a vote boycotted by the opposition and declared illegal by Spanish courts. Puigdemont said on Wednesday he would ignore a court order to return to Spain to answer charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds relating to the region's secessionist push. He did not turn up at a High Court hearing on Thursday.
"When someone doesn't appear after being cited by a judge to testify, in Spain or any other EU country, normally an arrest warrant is issued," said Supreme Court President Carlos Lesmes who is also the head of the General Council of the Judiciary, Spain's top judicial body.
An arrest warrant would make it virtually impossible for Puigdemont to stand in a snap election in the wealthy region called by the Spanish government for 21 December.
The decision will be taken by a High Court judge following the testimony of the remaining nine members of Puigdemont's sacked Cabinet, including former vice-president Oriol Junqueras.
Whisky sold for $10 000 a shot
- Talk about needing a refund. A shot of Macallan whisky purportedly made in 1878 that a Chinese man paid $10 000 for at a Swiss hotel was actually distilled between 1970 and 1972, local media reported. In August, the young customer entered the Devil's Place Whisky Bar at the luxury Waldhaus Hotel in St. Moritz, northeast Switzerland, and expressed particular interest in rare Macallans.The bar, which has a whisky collection honoured in the Guinness Book of World Records, had 47 options, ranging from seven Swiss francs to 10 grand per glass.
GENEVA Asia's terror attackers were radicalised
- When Sayfullo Saipov used a truck to mow people down on a New York street, ultimately killing eight according to terror charges, he guaranteed his former homeland Uzbekistan would receive the worst kind of headlines. People from ex-Soviet Central Asia have been at the heart of highprofile attacks this year in the United States, Russia, Sweden and Turkey. Yet Saipov, according to official accounts, came into contact with radical Islamic ideologies, not in the country of his birth, but in the one he adopted seven years ago: the US.
BISHKEK Military rape and abuse claims probed
- The Dutch defence minister on Thursday announced an investigation after soldiers revealed fresh allegations of harassment, abuse, assault and rape in the army. Three soldiers said they quit their unit in Schaarsbergen, in the western Arnhem region, in 2014 after being subjected to abuse by senior officers, according to the newspaper De Volkskrant. One of the soldiers, who recently tried to kill himself, filed a complaint about the incidents two weeks ago, accusing military personnel of assault, intimidation, drug use and drug dealing, stealing munitions and possessing illegal firearms, the paper reported.