Judge refuses to free 4 Catalan leaders as elections near

2017-12-04 18:14
Lawyers defending ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont face the media as they arrive at the court in Brussels. (Olivier Matthys, AP)

Lawyers defending ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont face the media as they arrive at the court in Brussels. (Olivier Matthys, AP)

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Madrid - Catalonia's sacked vice president Oriol Junqueras and three other separatist leaders will remain in prison during a probe over their role in the region's independence drive, a Spanish judge decided on Monday, as critical Catalan elections approach.

Six other former ministers who were also remanded in custody last month will be released on bail of €100 000 each as an investigation into charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds continues, the Madrid court said.

The decision comes as axed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont attended an extradition hearing in Belgium, where he escaped to after his region's parliament declared independence on October 27, claiming he would not get a fair trial at home.

Spain is seeking to have Puigdemont and four of his former ministers who fled with him sent back to face charges over their role in the independence drive.

The Belgian judge will decide on December 14 whether to grant the European arrest warrant, their lawyers said after the hearing.


Read more on:    carles puigdemont  |  belgium  |  spain

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