‘Spain likely to seek ar­rest of ousted Cata­lan leader’

Observer on Saturday - - News - Reuters AFP AFP AFP

- 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.


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