Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont unveils new website

Nov 02, 2017, 00:16
Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont unveils new website

Mr Puigdemont, who could be charged with rebellion for declaring independence last week, said his party would "fight with all our strength" in the regional election next month. Also under Spanish law, the court could issue an arrest warrant for Puigdemont if he fails to appear in court.

If Puigdemont fails to answer Thursday's High Court summons, an arrest warrant could be issued that would make it virtually impossible for him to stand in a snap regional election called by the Spanish government for December 21.

Puigdemont traveled to Belgium at the weekend with other members of the dismissed Catalan administration and hired a lawyer.

"It is possible to seek refuge, but I do not know what the result will be", said the lawyer, stressing that in Belgium the decision on such matters is taken not by the government but by an independent body - the Asylum Commissioner-General.

In total Puigdemont and 13 others, including all formers members of the Catalan Parliament Bureau have been accused of sedition and rebellion and have been called to testify this week.

Journalists wait outside the offices of sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer, Paul Bekaert, in Tielt in Belgium November 1, 2017. The judge would then determine whether those who have been summoned should go to jail pending an investigation, which may take up to several years before it is resolved.

But he has said he would not seek asylum and would return to Spain "immediately" if guaranteed a fair judicial process.

Prosecutors have already asked the courts to order the Catalan secessionist leaders to deposit at least 6.2 million euros to cover all potential liabilities brought by the case. He also said he accepts the snap election and Madrid has said he is welcome to take part in the elections. Should the leaders not respond to this, they can indeed be jailed pending trial and considered a flight risk.

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