Catalan leadership facing rebellion charges, subpoenaed after some reportedly fled to Belgium

With reports that former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his ministers have fled to Belgium, Spain's Attorney General Jose Manuel Maza has filed charges of rebellion against them and asked Spain's justice system to subpoena the Catalan officials.
Catalan officials (Archives) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Spain's Attorney General Jose Manuel Maza announced on Monday that charges of rebellion against the Catalan leadership were being drafted following the region’s declaration of independence last week. Maza said that in his opinion, the charges should also include incitement and provocation by the Catalan government.

According to the Spanish judicial system, the prosecutor's request will be forwarded to a judge who will consider the charges. The prosecutor has asked that the court subpoena ex-Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and other senior Catalan officials, including members of his cabinet and parliament, to testify before the judges after they reportedly fled to Belgium.

Protests in Catalonia Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The announcement from Madrid coincides with measures being taken by the Spanish central government to complete its control of Catalonia, including the replacement of regional civil servants with Spanish officials. Since the Catalan declaration of independence this past Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule over Catalonia, fired the Catalan government and called for early elections to be held on December 21.

Within the Catalan government, the former president and his deputy announced that they rejected their dismissal and stated that only the people of Catalonia could fire them. Many employees of the Catalan public sector have yet to announce whether they will accept orders from their new employers. At the same time, Spanish media outlets reported that Catalonia was back to normal routine this morning, despite calls for civil disobedience from politicians who support independence.

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