Spain's National Court jails former Catalan ministers as crackdown continues

Independence supporters gather outside the Palau Catalan Regional Government Building as Catalonia returns to work following the previous week's decision by the Catalan parliament to vote to split from Spain

When nine members of the deposed Catalan government appeared before the high court as part of its investigation into alleged sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds, the judge had the option of releasing them, pending trial.

The Supreme Court of Spain on Thursday said it had adjourned until November 9 the hearings of former members of Catalonia's dissolved parliament including speaker Carme Forcadell at the request of their lawyers amid the prosecutors demand to jail the eight sacked members of Catalonia's regional government.

Judge Carmen Lamela has also been asked to approve an worldwide arrest warrant for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four other regional ministers who fled to Belgium and failed to report to court Thursday.

A High Court source said the arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who is in Belgium, would "most likely" be issued on Friday.


Earlier, Spanish justice has summoned a number of former Catalan ministers and lawmakers to appear for questioning this week.

Instead, Puigdemont and four of his colleagues traveled to Brussels in Belgium and hired a lawyer.

Ebelio Ramos, a pensioner from the pro-independence town of Berga said: "I don't know what they're thinking about but when someone does what he did and declares independence and then flees".

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up. The probe could lead to charges of rebellion and sedition. Vila resigned before the regional parliament voted in favour of independence.

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