20 Catalan Officials Indicted on False Charges
As expected, Madrid’s Director of Public Prosecutions indicted deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and 19 other officials on false charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
Spain’s attorney general Jose Maza accused them of “decisions and acts in the last two years,” culminating in the October 1 referendum and “unilateral declaration of independence,” provoking an “unconstitutional crisis,” adding:
“Rebels can never ensure that their uprising will be without victims and without bloodshed.” Individuals charged face up to 30 years imprisonment.
Under Spain’s Penal Code, sedition applies to individuals who “rise up publicly and tumultuously to prevent, by force or outside legal channels, the application of the law” or who prevent “any authority, official corporation or public official” from carrying out “the legitimate exercise of their functions or compliance with their agreements,” or “administrative or judicial decisions.”
Activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart were arrested, imprisoned and charged with sedition – stemming for their involvement in organizing pro-independence demonstrations and the October 1 referendum.
Some Spanish elected officials enjoy a degree of immunity. They can only be tried in the Constitutional Court, the nation’s highest judicial body.
According to Madrid, Puigdemont travelled to Brussels, arriving after Belgium’s asylum and migration affairs minister Theo Francken said he could seek asylum in the country.
Spanish media reported he was accompanied by other members of his government. Later on Monday, they’re expected to issue a joint statement.
Francken is allied with New Flemish Alliance separatists. It has close ties to Catalonia’s pro-independence movement.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel dismissed Francken’s overture, saying political asylum for Puigdemont and other Catalan officials is “absolutely not on the agenda,” telling Francken “not to fan the flames.”
Catalan pro-independence CUP party MP Mireia Boya Busquet called for forming an executive committee to sign decrees – “from Brussels or from wherever.”
Her party urged “maximum amount of civil disobedience” against Madrid’s unacceptable usurpation of control over the new republic.
Below are the names of indicted
Catalan government officials:
They include Puigdemont, deposed Vice President Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turul, Raül Romeva, Antoni Comin, Josep Rull, Dolors Bassa, Meritxell Borras, Clara Ponsati i Obiols, Joaquim Forn, Lluis Puig i Gordi, Carles Mundo, Santiago Vila and Meritxell Serret.
Indicted members of the Speaker’s Committee include Speaker Carme Forcadel, Lluis Maria Corominas, Lluis Guino, Anna Simo, Ramona Barrufet and Joan Josep Nuet i Pujals.
Former economy minister Santi Vila was also indicted even though he resigned from parliament.
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