Catalan govt chief charged over independence poll

2015-09-29 18:59
Artur Mas (AP)

Artur Mas (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Madrid - Catalonia's leader, Artur Mas, was charged on Tuesday over the holding of a referendum on the northeastern region's independence in November.

A court in Barcelona named Mas and two members of his Catalan government as defendants, two days after secessionists won Catalan parliamentary elections. The court also invited Mas, who supports the region's independence, for questioning on October 15.

Mas had wanted to hold an official referendum on Catalonia's independence on November 9, but it was blocked by Spain's Constitutional Court. Instead, he organised a non-binding vote. It was also declared illegal by the judges, but it was held anyway.

Prosecutors accused Mas of failing to follow a court order, abuse of office and improper use of government money.

Catalan Education Minister Irene Rigau and the region's former vice president Joana Ortega were also named as defendants.

If convicted, Mas faces a ban from politics for several years.

Mas' Convergence and Union party charged that the investigation was politically motivated. "When you want to oust someone who has succeeded at the polls, it doesn't speak well for democracy," party spokesperson Pere Macias said.

The head of the Republican Left of Catalonia party, Oriol Junqueras, said, "This proves that we need an independent state for Catalonia."

Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala said the announcement of the investigation was made after the Catalan elections because the judicial system did not want it to influence the voting.

Read more on:    spain

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.