23:25 GMT02 December 2020
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    Catalonia Declares Independence: Consequences (53)
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    A European arrest warrant has been issued for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four ministers of his cabinet, who fled to Belgium, as Madrid seeks their return for questioning in the Catalan independence push investigation.

    Puigdemont and four other members of the Catalan government turned themselves in to Belgian police, a spokesperson for the Prosecutor's Office in Brussels said at a press conference.

    READ MORE: Puigdemont Has Right to Appeal in Case of Arrest Warrant — Source

    Former Catalan president, alongside other fugitive cabinet members, accompanied by their lawyers, arrived at a police department in Brussels voluntarily, according to the representative of the prosecution.

     

    "They have been deprived of freedom," the spokesperson said, adding that they were detained for a "maximum period of 24 hours." Now the investigating judge has 24 hours to decide whether to extend the detention.

    On Thursday, ousted members of the Catalan cabinet had to appear before the court, however, Puigdemont and four ex-ministers fled Spain. Eight other dismissed members of the Catalan government were jailed. On Friday, Spain issued a European arrest warrant for the ex-president and fugitive ministers as the officials are facing charges of organizing an uprising and embezzling state funds.

    Madrid stripped the rebellious region of its autonomy and sacked the government following the region’s independence declaration on October 27, which was deemed illegal by the central authorities.

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    Catalonia Declares Independence: Consequences (53)

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    Tags:
    declaration of independence, arrest warrants, 2017 Catalan independence referendum, Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia, Spain
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