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International

Ousted Catalan leader not expected to appear for questioning

15:25, Wednesday, 01 November, 2017
Ousted Catalan leader not expected to appear for questioning

The Belgian lawyer for Carles Puigdemont said Wednesday he does not expect the ousted Catalan leader to return to Spain in the coming weeks, and certainly not for questioning by a Spanish national court judge on Thursday.
     Lawyer Paul Bekaert told VTM network when questioned about the court appearance that "he is not going to Madrid."
     "As things look now, I cannot see him going back in the next few weeks," he said.
     Puigdemont appeared at a news conference in Brussels Tuesday. A Catalan regional parliament vote in favor of independence last Friday led the Spanish government to trigger unprecedented constitutional measures to take control of Catalan affairs, firing the Catalan regional leadership.
     In his appearance Tuesday, Puigdemont said he and the five ousted regional Catalan government colleagues who accompanied him there were seeking "freedom and safety" from Spanish authorities.
     All 14 members of the sacked Catalan Cabinet are facing possible rebellion charges at home for driving a secessionist bid to a full declaration of independence. Spain's chief prosecutor is seeking charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against Puigdemont and his No. 2, Oriol Junqueras. The crimes are punishable with decades behind bars under Spanish law.

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