Spain seeks charges against fired lead­ers

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Nation + World -

BARCELONA, SPAIN » Spain moved Mon­day to put Cat­alo­nia’s se­ces­sion­ist lead­ers on trial for al­leged crimes that carry max­i­mum sen­tences of decades in prison, and some of the ousted gov­ern­ment fig­ures went to the Bel­gian cap­i­tal, where an of­fi­cial said they might be able to re­quest asy­lum.

As Cat­alo­nia spent its first work­ing day un­der the di­rect rule of Madrid, fol­low­ing its re­gional par­lia­ment’s un­suc­cess­ful ef­forts to cre­ate a new coun­try, Spain was ven­tur­ing into new po­lit­i­cal ter­rain amid an un­prece­dented cri­sis.

An early re­gional elec­tion on Dec. 21 is on the hori­zon, when both sep­a­ratists and union­ists will present can­di­dates, but be­fore that the coun­try is likely to en­dure weeks of po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty.

Crank­ing up the ten­sion, Spain’s state pros­e­cu­tor said he would seek re­bel­lion, sedi­tion and em­bez­zle­ment charges against mem­bers of the re­gion’s se­ces­sion­ist gov­ern­ment.

Chief pros­e­cu­tor Jose Manuel Maza said he would ask judges for pre­ven­tive mea­sures against the politi­cians and the gov­ern­ing body .

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