Spanish state prosecutor has asked a judge on Thursday to issue European arrest warrant for sacked Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, and four other members of ousted Catalan regional government.
The Spanish authorities have demanded Puigdemont, who has been in Brussels since Friday, to return to Spain for questioning over charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
Eight former members of Puigdemont’s deposed government, including his former deputy, Oriol Junqueras, appeared in Spain’s High Court to answer questions from High Court Judge Carmen Lamela.
Puigdemont and four former ministers opted to remain in Brussels insisting they would not get a fair hearing in what was a “political trial”.
Puigdemont’s lawyer, Paul Bekeart, told newsmen that the climate in Spain was not good, adding it was “better to have some distance”.
However, he insisted that if asked, his client would “cooperate with Spanish and Belgian justice”.
However, Spanish prosecutors are against Puigdemont being allowed to testify by video-conference.
“When someone doesn’t appear after being cited by a judge to testify, in Spain or any other EU country, normally an arrest warrant is issued,’’ Carlos Lesmes, Spain’s Supreme Court President, said.