Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont unveils new website

Carles Puigdemont

One lawyer for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said that he is not expected to fly back to Spain soon despite being required to appear before the Spanish court this week to face charges against him for pushing for independence.

If Puigdemont fails to answer Thursday's High Court summons, an arrest warrant could be issued that would make it virtually impossible for him to stand in a snap regional election called by the Spanish government for December 21.

The court accused Puigdemont of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against the Spanish crown on Monday when he was also summoned to answer questions at week's end in a court in Madrid regarding his involvement in the Catalonia independence elections on October 1 and his part in the Catalonia Parliament's declaration of independence on Friday.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's office did not confirm this information but did not deny it. Spain's prosecution has filed two charges against the expelled members of Catalonia's regional government and some local lawmakers for being involved in a revolt, mutiny, and wasteful use of public funds.

The High Court summoned Puigdemont and 13 other former members of the Catalan government to testify in Madrid on Thursday and Friday on the prosecutor's charges.




"It's not going to Madrid, and I have proposed that we examine here in Belgium". Should the leaders not respond to this, they can indeed be jailed pending trial and considered a flight risk.

Prosecutors have already asked the courts to order the Catalan secessionist leaders to deposit at least 6.2 million euros to cover all potential liabilities brought by the case.

The former leader said in a press conference he will return "immediately" to Spain only when the government provides certain "conditions" for his return.

Uncertainty over how the crisis will play out has prompted more than 1,800 Catalonia-based companies to move their legal headquarters out of the region and the government to lower its national economic forecasts for next year.

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