Catalan lawmakers to testify in separatist revolt probe

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MADRID — Six Catalan lawmakers have been resulting from testify Thursday earlier than a Spanish decide over claims that they ignored Constitutional Court orders and allowed an independence vote in Catalonia’s regional parliament.

The parliament’s speaker, Carme Forcadell, and 5 different members of its governing physique face doable prices of revolt, sedition and embezzlement. Under Spanish legislation, the crimes are punishable with as much as 30 years of imprisonment.

Supreme Court decide Pablo Llarena is ready to determine after questioning them if any preventive measures — together with holding them in custody — are to be utilized whereas the investigation continues.

The Oct. 27 independence declaration within the Catalan parliament was boycotted by most opposition lawmakers however held regardless of earlier courtroom rulings. It was handed by 70 votes to 10 within the 135-seat legislative physique.

Central authorities took the unprecedented step of seizing management of the rich northeastern area shortly after, the primary time in 4 a long time of democratic rule that one among Spain’s 17 areas had briefly misplaced its self-government.

Spain eliminated the regional authorities, dissolved the parliament and known as a brand new regional election for Dec. 21.

Former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont and 4 of his dismissed Cabinet members fled to Brussels, the place they’re combating Spanish arrest and extradition orders.

They are additionally making an attempt to rally European badist for his or her trigger. Although no nation has publicly sided with them to date, their presence within the Belgian capital is sowing divisions amongst politicians.

Eight members of the now-dismissed Catalan Cabinet and two activists have already been despatched to jail because the nation’s National Court research doable prices of revolt and sedition in opposition to them. One additional official was launched on bail, however stays a suspect within the probe.

Forcadell stays the parliament’s president, heading a fee of two dozen lawmakers in the course of the transitional interval to subsequent month’s polls.

The Supreme Court decide delayed the questioning for greater than per week after the lawmakers’ attorneys argued that they weren’t given sufficient time to arrange the protection.

Catalonia, with 7.5 million individuals, represents a fifth of Spain’s gross home product. Polls present its individuals roughly evenly divided over independence.

The regional separatist authorities claimed a banned Oct. 1 secession referendum gave them a mandate to declare independence.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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