15:52 GMT19 January 2021
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    333
    Subscribe

    The move comes just a day after the Catalan parliament has recognized its dissolution as part of Madrid's measures to impose direct rule over the region after its unilateral declaration of independence dubbed illegal by the Spanish leadership.

    The Spanish Constitutional Court has announced its ruling canceling Catalonia'a declaration of independence, according to the court's spokesperson.

    A source from the court told Sputnik that the Supreme Court of Spain has registered a lawsuit against Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and several other senior lawmakers "for further legal proceedings."

    The lawsuits against Catalan government members were filed with the Audiencia Nacional rather than the Supreme Court because the members of the Generalitat had been stripped of their powers by Madrid.

    The ruling comes just few days after the Catalan parliament in a secret ballot voted in favor of a motion to declare the region's independence from Spain in a move prompting Madrid to immediately respond by invoking Article 155 of the Constitution, imposing direct rule over the region. The measures also included the sacking of the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, and the dismissal of the region's parliament, with local elections scheduled to take place in December.

    READ MORE: Catalan Parliament Recognizes Spain's Decision to Dissolve the Body

    While Puigdemon, who later left Catalonia for Brussels, has refused to recognize Madrid's decision and called for peaceful resistance, the Catalan parliament decided to recognize its dissolution on Monday.

    Most recently, former speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell and five other members of the now dissolved legislature, including Luis Corominas, a member of a pro-independence faction Junts pel Si, have been summoned to testify in Spain's Supreme Court on Thursday and Friday, according to local media reports.

    Puigdemon on Dialogue With Madrid

    Commenting on his possible return to Catalonia, Puigdemon, who faces rebellion charges, has said that he would return when given "guarantees" and emphasized that he didn't ask asylum in Belgium contrary to media claims. "I’m not here to demand political asylum," he told reporters.

    Puigdemont has explained that he had arrived in Brussels because the the city is the de facto capital of the European Union.

    "We are not getting away from our responsibility but we need judicial guarantees within the European Union… because we are Europeans, we are free," the former Catalan president said, addinf that he and other former members of the Catalan government allegedly faced threats amid the region's struggle for independence.

    Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, ex-Catalan leader, Puigdemon has said that holding dialogue with Madrid in current conditions is impossible.

    "The executive power of the Generalitat has adopted a plan of work, in which the priority would be given to prevention of violence and ensuring security… If the Spanish government wants to use violence as basis for their activities, it will be impossible to embroil Catalonia in it… We cannot accept a scenario, which rejects the project of independence."

    Nevertheless, he vowed to respect the result of the local elections set for December. "The election of 21st of December is a challenge and we are taking this challenge with all of our strength. We will respect the results of the elections … like we have done always, irrespective of the results. I would like to ask the Spanish government a question, will it do the same?"

    According to the sacked leader, Catalonia's independence drive must "slow down."

    Catalonia's former leadership faces rebellion, sedition charges and embezzlement over the decision to hold the independence referendum. Under the Spanish law, rebellion is a crime punishable by up to 30 years in jail.

    Community standardsDiscussion